kaikado: 6th generation tea caddy maker
original content
may 31, 2012
kaikado: 6th generation tea caddy maker

kaikado: 6th generation tea caddy makers



the company kaikado was established in 1875 in kyoto, japan. in japan the highest level of skills
and crafts have been applied to everyday utilitarian objects, and, there were no exceptions for tea preparing –
and their containers. in the edo era, chazutsu canisters were made from tin and were a commonplace
means of storage for tea. it was the company’s founder, kiyosuke, who first designed the tin tea caddy
and made it into a commercially available item. until today, each chazutsu, with its precise functionality,
is made by hands.



caddies (chazutsu containers)
the iconic chazutsu containers quickly became THE caddy and has been copied by many companies in japan, but their quality was never equaled.



the double-walled construction guarantees excellent air tightness and will protect tea leaves from humidity
whilst helping them to maintain their scent. in addition to being used for storing tea leaves, the caddies can
be used to hold a wide variety of foodstuffs. they can also be used to store english or chinese tea,
as well as coffee, spices, and grain.



this superb airtight feature has remained unchanged over a century



the ‘family’ of copper tea caddies, each one is the preserve of a different kind, so none are ‘contaminated’ …



beauty increasing over time



after using the containers you will perceive a normal yet subtle change in the colour tone of the chazutsu: copper in 2-3 months,
brass in 1-2 years and tin in 3-5 years.



coffee drip
image © designboom



coffee drip
image © designboom




caddies with handles
image © designboom



today, the fifth and sixth generations , seiji and his son takahiro yagi work with two other craftsmen in their
kyoto workshop to produce their caddies in tin, brass, copper, and silver.



there are more than 130steps in the process of making




a manufacturing process that 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.











these images clearly illustrate the sophisticated technique and artistic sense of the craftsmen







takahiro yagi of kaikado co. ltd, 6th generation tea caddy maker
image © designboom




from hand-cutting the sheet metal to soldering and polishing




finally, as the joints of the lid and body are lined up, the lid descends to the exact level in a silky and silent motion all the while slowly expelling superfluous air from the caddy.



video – making of the signature on the tea scoop in copper



takahiro yagi of kaikado co.ltd is showing designboom the engraving technique : he wrote the characters for the chinese translation of ‘BIRGIT’
image © designboom



takahiro yagi, the seventh generation of the family, explained how the caddies are handmade
and engraved customer’s names on
kaikado’s beautiful tea scoops.



various patina of the tea scoops in copper



kaikado have exhibited in europe at maison et objet in january 2011 and 2012 and in may in the US at the ICFF in new york,
where they have won the 2012 editor’s award for best craftsmanship.



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maison et objet spring 2011 (33 articles)

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