Kaikado was established in Kyoto in 1875, the year of the Meiji Restoration, as the pioneer of tinplate canisters using imported tinplate from England. They have continued to implement their unchanged hand making techniques developed by their founder for over a century.
The interesting thing is how they’ve been able to continue making their “chazutsu” or tea caddies by hand for over a century in this way. It’s because they share the same understanding as the founder, know the essential value of “chazutsu” and have inherited the same techniques of their forefathers even when times and circumstances are constantly changing.
During World War II, Japan implemented a metal collection act forcing Japanese people to surrender all forms of metal. The third generation successor at Kaikado, knowing the rarity and importance of the tools, decided to bury them to protect them from disappearing. He then continued to secretly make the “chazutsu” which caused him to be imprisoned. The end of the war lead Japan into a high economic growth period and foreign industrial products became more popular causing people to think that machine made factory style produced products were better than those made by hand. Kaikado never chose that path which made them suffer affecting them financially. To maintain their livelihood, they moved into the pharmaceutical field and crafting “chazutsu” became their side business.
Thanks to the support of their customers and the realization of their quality through craftsmanship, they were able to return making “chazutsu” as their main business and received an opportunity to pay tribute to the emperor with one of their masterpieces. Being successful in business in Kyoto in these times would not be enough, so the expanded gently into Nagoya and other areas, north and south of Kyoto as well.
This era of mass production and mass consumption arrived in Japan and demand for their products propagated sales and their following but they continued to make everything by hand. They felt that machine making reduces quality and they couldn’t put their Kaikado brand on such a product. The bubble burst in Japan and the economy plummeted forcing them to discount their products significantly to make ends meet. The 5th generation successor questioned the future of Kaikado and even considered throwing in the towel in these bleak times. It was the 6th generation successor and current president that re-recognized the value of “chazutsu” and shaped a new marketing plan, involving general public retail and introducing their products to the world. Thanks to this new vision, orders once again started to grow and Kaikado has become a product that can be found all over the world.
Their “chazutsu” can be repaired even if they are dented or distorted. They can be passed down from generation to generation because of the traditional hand making techniques even now being practiced. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to bring their “chazutsu” back to craftsmen if they ever need maintenance.
Kaikaido will continue to provide living tools that can be used even 100 years later.
CHAZUTSU Japanese tea caddies Kaikado
“CHAZUTSU” is a cylinder shaped airtight container of Japanese origin. It is used to protect foodstuffs (such as green tea leaves) from moisture and humidity. In Japan many have been used for generations. Chazutsu possesses both Function and Beauty. Chazutsu is practical as well as an object of art. They meticulously hand craft each caddy in Kaikado’s fifth generation 1875 Kyoto studio.
Beauty increasing over time
Growing beauty through time is the principle fascination in Chazutsu. Gently caressing the entire body of Chazutsu day after day brings out a mysteriously elegant sheen and gleam to its years. Chazutsu provides utility and pleasure as it ages gracefully with ownership. After your purchase you will perceive a normal yet subtle change in the colour tone of your Chazutsu: copper in 2-3 months, brass in 1-2 years and tin in 3-5 years. Like fine wine Chazutsu becomes even more appreciated with age.
Unmatched performance for over a century
Each Chazutsu, with its precise functionality, is made by their own hands. They are introducing a true masterpiece; one which clearly illustrates the sophisticated technique and artistic sense of two proud craftsmen. There are more than“130steps” in the process of our craftsmanship. 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. This superb airtight feature has remained unchanged over a century. During usage, if dented, they will professionally repair your Chazutsu so that you will once again be able to enjoy this exquisite object of art.
Versatility of use
Chazutsu’s unique airtight feature may be applied in a variety of ways ; to protect coffee beans, tea leaves, homemade cookies, exotic spices, dried herbs and pasta from moisture and humidity. Additionally, aroma and flavor are naturally retained in Chazutsu. Away from the kitchen counter your Chazutsu will compliment any design space in your home, office or place of business.