2018 MakingIn: Public
Kaikado was established in 1875 shortly after Japan opened its doors to the rest of the world. In the Edo era, canisters made from tin were commonly used as storage for tea, as were jars made from china or earthenware. Kaikado’s founder, Seisuke, first designed a tin Chazutsu [tea caddy] and made it into a commercially available item.
His aim was to provide a well-designed, functional tea caddy capable of storing the type of tea leaves commonly sold by dealers. In a time before the invention of the refrigerator, air tightness was key to maintaining the flavour and quality of freshly picked leaves for a period of one year and Kaikado’s tea caddies were a blessing in disguise to tea dealers.
With a manufacturing process that involves anywhere between 130 to 140 steps, these hand-made tea caddies have virtually remained true to the original designs of Kaikado’s founding generation with the die and mold used in the early years of the company still in use today. The current successor, Takahiro, has developed a two-tiered tea caddy, initiated the first ever collaborations with tea brands and has started marketing his caddies abroad.