Japanese Goods Stores

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. 

Japanese Goods Stores

Sugegasa: Function, Form, History

A few years ago I purchased a palm leaf hat at T’gger’s Toggs at Pennsic. It served me well for three years, and I wore it religiously to summer events. It shaded my face, kept me from being sunburned, and made the hot days much more pleasant. I was grateful for its presence, and felt an appreciation for why such a hat was so ubiqutuous among Japanese farmers.

Sugegasa: Function, Form, History

Woodworking II: Planing Board

Once the sawhorses were completed, I needed a place to chisel and plane my work. I based my design off of Covington & Son’s atedai, [当て台], which is a traditional japanese design for small spaces. I didn’t have access to a large wood slab like he did, as I constructed my board during COVID lockdown. However, a narrower board allows one to squat/sit on the board itself more easily if it is placed on sawhorses, almost like a cooper’s mare. Since my garage floor is very cold, and also because my board is a soft, light wood (port orford cedar), I decided to make a 9.5″ x 60″ atedai instead of Campbell’s 17″ wide board.

Woodworking II: Planing Board