An Antique Curiosity Shop with an Unbelievable Selection of Goods
Kumagai Dogusyo is an antique curiosity shop with a 100 year history. The shop is located on the famous Kyoto Teramachi Art Street, halfway between Maruta-dori and Ike-dori streets. The look of the shop is distinctive; the emerald green sign saying Kumagai Dogusyo and the green awning both pop out. This antique curiosity shop mainly sells antique art, chinaware and curiosities.
What really stands out in this shop is their selection of goods. They are not called a curiosity shop for nothing; they have things of all kinds of uses and designs. Just looking at all the products crammed on the shelves is fun. They also have shogi and go boards for those interested in these Japanese chess-like games. They also carry other everyday items so the shop differs a bit from what you would usually expect from an antique shop. Kumagai Dogusyo is more fun.
The antique curiosity shop Kumagai Dogusyo mainly sells antique art and what is in Japanese called “chudogu”: tableware like plates and bowls that is not of the highest grade but neither is it low grade. So chudogu means things that can be used every day without having to take special care of them. The shop owner wants to offer antique items at a reasonable price that you can use every day. .
The shop feels retro, warm and welcoming. Why not take some antiques into your hands and get to know their charm. Kumagai Dogusyo is definitely worth a visit.
Blue and White Imari Porcelains from the Bakumatsu Period
When entering the shop you will first notice the vivid Imari ware porcelain lining up on the selves. No two plates are the same; they were painted by hand so there are minute differences even between two plates from the same set. It is nice to find out they don’t only carry Imari plates but also Imari rice bowls, sake cups, sake decanters and other interesting things. Most of the plates are from between the Bakumatsu period and the Taisho period.
Cute Tiny Tea Ceremony Items
Incense containers shaped like Japanese persimmons and fans are a must see at Kumagai Dogusyo. The incense containers have a lid, and are used to decorate the tea ceremony rooms. I think these vividly colored tea ceremony instruments are one of the main attractions of this shop, and will fill your heart with joy by just looking at them.
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The Shells of a Shell-Matching Game
“Kaiawase” was a shell-matching game played in Japan hundreds, even thousands of years ago. You play the game by finding two painted, matching shells, kind of like the card game concentration. The shells in the picture are from the Edo period.
Hard clam shells decorated with gold leaf and maki-e lacquer decorations are used in the game kaiawase. The small people painted on the shells are really adorable. The colorful and vivid gold leaf decorations on the shells are almost blindingly dazzling. At Kumagai Dogusyo you can find things which you will struggle to find anywhere else.
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Curiosities you can only find at Kumagai Dogusyo
Kumagai Dogusyo also sells things other antique shops might not have. This picture is of a traditional Japanese card game, karuta. Besides card games, they also sell shogi and go boards, pothooks for the irori sunken hearts, these are all curiosities you can find only at Kumagai Dogusyo.