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Kitaichi Glass from Otaru Japan

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (615 items)

    I have a number of Kitaichi pieces of glass, all very different, all produced at their studios in Otaru, Hokkaido.

    The first vase is moulded in green glass with a blue glass casing. Both the base and lip have been hot finished. I love the shape and colour of this vase - the shape is like Japanese architecture and the colours very oceanic. Height 20cm (8in)

    The second vase is actually a sake flask. Made in what the Japanese call green tea style, with colours graduating from a beautiful blue, through green then to the brown of the added neck. The green occurs from the inserted brown neck colouring the blue body. The body reminds me so much of a fishing float it is a delight! Like a float the pontil scar remains. Height 17cm (6.5in)

    The Kitaichi Glass company was established as the Asahara Glass company in 1901, and was initially involved in making oil lamps and other fishing equipment. Fishing was the main industry in Otaru, on the northern most island of Japan, Hokkaido, but the industry declined in the second half of last century. Asahara suffered and moved into lighting manufacture however with the development of the Otaru Canal the company owners recognised the market available in the tourist trade.

    The name was changed to Kitaichi Glass in the 80s at the time the company started developing it's art glass industry. Successfully too. The company (still headed by the Asahara family) now employs over 250 people in a number of glass studios, retail shops, cafes and it's museum.

    They make a wide range of glass, from blown and moulded items like these two, to beautiful cameo glass with a very Japanese style.

    The Japanese glass industry is interesting and surprising. I am often amazed at how old these companies are and how successfully many of them have remained in business to this day.

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    1. Gracay2004 Gracay2004, 7 years ago
      Love the colours. Favourite is definitely the vase, gorgeous design.
    2. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      I have to agree, although I have developed a bit of a Japanese way of looking at thingo so the sake flask kicks me too. You Euro dwellers wouldn't get it!
    3. sklo42 sklo42, 7 years ago
      I too prefer the flask....for its flowing shape and gradual colour change. So that's one, so far, amongst us 853 million Euro dwellers.....only 507 million if you meant the European Union.... who won't get it :-)
    4. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 7 years ago
      Lovely colors... Love the sake vessel... :)
    5. pops52 pops52, 7 years ago
      Beautiful glass! Great photos!
    6. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      wow!!!! bigtime beautiful!!!
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 7 years ago
      I love them both, especially the sake flask!
    8. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      Sorry if I cast aspersions on Euro dwellers - taste is personal wherever we live!
      (I'm just bagging William really...)

      I think it's great that the sake flask got an overwhelming vote.
      Thanks Cindy, Peggy, Fluffy, Pops, Sean and Scott!

      I toast you all with sake......
    9. sklo42 sklo42, 7 years ago
      I was teasing too, Karen!!!
    10. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      I'm often accused of taking things literally! The times I think people are joking they sometimes aren't. ..........ah well, we all have our afflictions.
    11. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
    12. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      Racer4four I understand what you mean, that sometimes happens to me to, I love you 'toast you all with sake', first I read it toast as being fried and in instead of with (I toast you all in sake), I thought you were pretty mad (angry) language barriers can make things really quite interesting :) :)
    13. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      Lol Elisabeth! Thanks :)))
    14. AnneLanders AnneLanders, 6 years ago
      never seen anything like the 6 tangonal ones? is that what you cal it? And to match in with that other one, youve done so well here...
    15. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Hexagon Anne?
      Cool hey!! Thanks.
    16. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 6 years ago
      I'm speechless! Can you imagine that? Besides both of these amazing pieces, what I'm surprised at is how much glass has actually made it thru so many years undamaged. It's awesome. When you have a great product, that's simply staying power, right?!
    17. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      You're right Sue!
      Doing something right!
    18. surfdub66 surfdub66, 6 years ago
      Beautiful pieces !! Really love the saki glass ;-)
    19. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Domo arigatou surfdub!
    20. Trey Trey, 6 years ago
      Beautiful color
    21. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Thanks Trey.
    22. vintagelamp vintagelamp, 6 years ago
      Love the blue!
    23. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Here's looking at you Vintagelamp!
    24. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 6 years ago
      Great post. Thanks for teaching me, a little, about the wonderful world of Japanese glass.
    25. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Fran I'm so glad to hear you here again. I hope all is well.
      I know that not all Japanese glass appeals to us Westies but they are clever and creative in their own way and I think I should indoctrinate everyone! lol. Thanks.

      Thanks Cindy - light really gives glass life and this flask really becomes something lovely !
    26. AmphoraPottery AmphoraPottery, 6 years ago
      The sake flask is killer.
    27. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Agreed, and thanks Amphora
    28. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 7 months ago
      Now these I love!
      Reminds me of Ocean water....
    29. racer4four racer4four, 7 months ago
      Lovely comment Eileen and so relevant because Kitaichi Glass was founded on fishing floats and are right next to the port of Otaru. The sea theme is so there!
      Thanks :)

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