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The world of antiques and second-hand tools “Second-hand tools Sakata and Buaisou”

“Secondhand tools Sakata and Masako Shirasu”

In Japan, there are ancestors who discovered excellent crafts and old tools and proposed standards for their value and aesthetic sensibility to Japan and the world.

Among these predecessors, we would like to introduce two pioneers who continued to pursue unique aesthetic standards. You can actually see the works they chose and the way they lived in museums and memorial halls, so please come and visit them.

Legendary second-hand goods store in Tokyo: Second-hand goods Sakata

First, I would like to introduce you to "Secondhand Sakata". This antique store in Mejiro has a history of over 40 years, and has been visited by many famous people, including essayist Masako Shirasu and artist Takashi Murakami. Although the shop has now closed, the owner, Mr. Sakata, still attracts many people who love old folk tools and antiques. Mr. Sakata values ​​the value of things that he feels is important, and selects items from a perspective different from the general value of antiques. This selective eye was born out of the unique sensibilities he had since childhood, which led him to open a second-hand goods store in 1973 after working at a trading company.

Author photo: museum as it is interior view

In Mr. Sakata's activities, we can see that he does not simply conform to existing values, but rather constantly renews tradition. This attitude can be said to follow the lineage of successive connoisseurs such as Rikyu, Muneyoshi Yanagi, Jiro Aoyama, and Masako Shirasu. Mr. Sakata's activities are wide-ranging, including opening a private art museum called ``Museum as it is'' in Chosei District, Chiba Prefecture in 1994. ``Museum as it is'' designed by Yoshiko Nakamura has a decaying design that is continuous with the surrounding landscape and natural materials such as mud walls and senryo curtains (blinds woven from torn bamboo), and an old Spanish design from the 20th century. The doors are used together as fittings, creating a uniquely warm space that harmonizes with natural materials.

Author photo: museum as it is senryoren fence and mailbox

Masako Shirasu and antiques

Next, I would like to introduce Masako Shirasu, who played a very important role in the world of Japanese literature and antiques.

Early after the war, he formed close friendships with Hideo Kobayashi and Jiro Aoyama, who were famous in the antique world, and entered the world of literature and antiques. She is a powerful woman who intervenes in their friendship and learns how to drink alcohol even though she has three stomach ulcers in order to further explore the world of antiques. Afterwards, he ran a dyeing craft shop called Kougei in Ginza, where many artists including famous weavers and dyers Takao Tajima and Machiko Furusawa grew up. He played a very important role in the postwar Japanese craft scene due to his own selective eye.

Author photo: A mail box made from a playful mortar

The thatched-roof residence ``Buaisou'' where the Shirasu couple lived exists in Machida, a suburb of Tokyo.

About two years before the outbreak of the Pacific War, he purchased a farmhouse with rice fields on the outskirts of Tokyo, and has spent his life restoring it to accommodate his own growth and changes.

Currently, antiques such as glass, cloth, and ceramics from around the world collected by Masako Shirasu are on display, and together with the thatched-roof Japanese architecture, you can experience the Japanese virtues in the entire space.

Author photo: Japanese-style light and wild flowers

Although we now live in an age where we can enjoy things and things anywhere, we believe that there are hints to enriching our lives by learning about Japan's ancient aesthetic sensibilities and ways of living. In addition to disseminating information about towns, architecture, crafts, and food that are connected to Japan's ancient aesthetic sensibilities, we also operate a select shop that focuses on handicrafts. If you are interested, please check the select shops as well.

OBORO Select Shop Link


MUSEUM as it is | Shinkenchiku Data (

SHIFT Japanese version | HAPPENING | “The Destination of Antique Tools – 40 Years of Kazumi Sakata” Exhibition (

Former Hakusu residence Buaiso

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