Since 1875, Japanese manufacturer Kaikado has been creating beautifully crafted tin canisters, Chazutsu for tea and drygoods storage. These airtight containers are simple, everyday objects of form and function that get better with use—the patina from regular handling can be admired below and some Kaikado chazutsu have been passed down through generations. The 6th generation family-run company has been handcrafting each canister from their Kyoto-based studio for over 130 years.
The manufacturing process for the Kaikado chazutsu involves anywhere between 130 to 140 steps, "the hand-made tea caddies have virtually remained true to the designs established by Kaikado's founding generation. The die and mold used in the early years of the company is still in use today, whilst some shapes of tea caddy used 130 years ago are still in production today."
At ICFF, we were charmed by 6th-generation Kaikado steward Takahiro Yagi. He shared a brief history of the tea caddies and showed us the two-tiered version that he has developed to accomodate the needs of modern dry goods storage and display. In the images below, Takahiro engraves a brass tea scoop—a small gesture that connects the craftsmanship that goes into each piece with the final products on display.