Japanese goods are hard to find in the US, though they are increasingly becoming more available. When I was starting my kit, I had no idea where to purchase many items I needed. I set up a forwarding service and used my meager command of the japanese language, along with google translate, to get started.
I have personally purchased from most of these stores, so I can recommend them with confidence. However, not all of these stores sell exclusively pre-1600 items, so do your research before buying.
What I learned, bought, and used started a practice of integrating traditional tools and garments into my everyday life. While not all of these items are useful to the re-enactor, most are of at least passing interest.
I have found many traditional items are wonderful in daily living, such as the brooms, futons, and tabi shoes. Many are a great compromise for camping, with modern materials and a traditional design. And some haven’t changed a bit in over 400 years. So many things just make sense, and are more durable and easy to use than their modern counterparts.
- Kimonomachi: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/kimonomachi/ Mostly modern stuff, but I really like this store. They have plus size yukata, and good sales, and good customer service.
- Tayu Tafu: https://item.rakuten.co.jp/tayu-tafu/ Features a lot of Japanese fabrics, and made in Japan traditional clothing. My jinbei are from here. I buy from the “Rocca” section. Also has fabric scraps!
- Samue Co: https://www.samue.co.jp/ Bespoke kimono tailoring. They will make period clothing. They speak english and have great customer service. Prices are fair and reasonable for the high quality.
- Miyata Orimono: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/miyata/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_name: Samue, beautiful hanten, and fabrics. They sell scrap fabric bundles too which are awesome!
- Sumitaya: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/sumitaya/?l-id=ph_pc_shopname Festival Shop. Lots of garb, including underwear and waraji.
- Linen Hakama: https://item.rakuten.co.jp/kyoto-kendo/673983/?s-id=ph_pc_itemname The only linen hakama I’ve ever found. When I was starting out and needed more hakama for pennsic fast I bought these, ripped out the backplate and resewed the back pleats. Took all of an hour, and they’re lovely breezy in the summer.
- Sou-sou: https://www.sousou.co.jp/ Modern “anachronistic” japanese clothing made in japan. I love their tabi for everyday wear. Their obi are out of this world beautiful, and I use their zori and geta at pennsic. Have a fun riff on muromachi jackets as well.
Kimono Bolts & Period Textiles
- Kimono Bolt Outlet, Some Unfinished Kimono too: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/tosen/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_image
- Recycled Kimono Bolts: https://item.rakuten.co.jp/wahukuyatoku/c/0000000169/?s=2#risFil
- Traditional Fabric Mill: https://hatayachiori.shop-pro.jp/?pid=139632979 Cotton and Hemp.
- Silk Brocade: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/tokouan/ Probably the only place to find japan-made period, true silk brocade for those heian gowns.
- Bansyo: https://www.etsy.com/jp/shop/Bansyo?ref=hdr_shop_menu Akane and Indigo dyeing. Yes, it’s cotton, but so many people have asked where I have gotten such lovely linen….
- TakeTora: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/taketora/ Bamboo Everything
- FujiTaka: https://www.take-fujikura.com/ They have backpack baskets, and the drinking gourds too.
Furniture & Housewares
- Futons & Bedding: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/gofukushingutangoya/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_name. Made in Japan. Bought my kotatsu futon here. It’s amazing. They will make custom for you.
- Kiri Wood Furniture: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/kiriyasan/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_name I got my rice storage box from here :3
- Tenugui and Scrolls, Scrollweights: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/wazakkahonpo/?l-id=ph_pc_shopname Actually there’s a lot more here, including leopard print yukata (yikes). Their tenugui are beautiful and I have several hanging in my house.
- Sakura Pottery: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/sakura-toki/?l-id=order.my_PC_/_list:shopname Traditional pottery for restaurants. Prices are very reasonable, pottery is made in japan.
- TureDure: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/turedure/?l-id=ph_pc_shopname More pottery for restaurant supply.
- Muro Kanamono: https://murokanamono.com/ Tansu and Teahouse hardware. Forewarning, some items need to be ordered through email communications. I used white rabbit express.
- Carolina Morning Furniture: https://zafu.net/ The best futons & zafu, and the best people
- Made in Japan Objects, mostly tableware and tools: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/realjapanprojectstore/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_image
- Iwachu: https://rikumo.com/search?type=product&q=iwachu Not just this one store, but the brand Iwachu in general makes amazing teapots and cast iron pots. I personally own the wok, a teapot, the bean pot, the omelette pan, and the sukiyaki pan, and the rice cooker… I might have an addiction. It’s so light and smooth compared to western cast iron! And the designs are very well thought out!
- Fans: https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/hakuchikudo/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_name. There are some nice ones here, like persimmon dyed ones and tea ceremony ones as well. You can find traditional ones, just have to pick through.
- Kumihimo: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/kiryudo/?s-id=bk_pc_shop_name. Any sort of silk cord you would like; I have personally gotten sageo here and they were lovely.
- Inden-Ya: https://www.inden-ya.co.jp/ Leather accessories dating back centuries.
- Umbrellas and Hats:https://www.rakuten.co.jp/sugisaki/
- Sanada Himo: Flat-woven cord dating back centuries. http://shop.sanadahimo.com/
- Shrine store: I haven’t ordered anything from here yet, but there’s some wildly antique things (stone belts!) I came across it when looking for kamidana supplies for the dojo. https://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/miyachu/info.html
- https://cabinet-hardware.morikunijapan.com/ Cabinet hardware for tansu. They also sell architectural fittings.
Art & Craft Supplies
- Shoyu – Calligraphy and painting supplies. They have the gold paint and indigo paper for copying sutras, among other rare finds.