Mizuya literally means ‘water house’ in Japanese, and is a type of wooden cabinet made to house tableware. Mizuya is an online store created especially for devotees of Japanese cuisine. Started by Kirk Vuillemot and Risa Sekiguchi, founders of the Japanese food and culture website Savory Japan, Mizuya provides access to unique and beautiful Japanese tableware, including ceramics, lacquerware and textiles.
Although we offer a small selection of select valuable antiques, we believe that beautiful objects should be used, not put on a shelf. In this, we are inspired by Yanagi Soetsu, the creator of the Mingei movement, and his mentor, William Morris, father of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Tableware is as important to Japanese cuisine as the food itself. We believe the art of dining includes all senses, including sight and touch. Thus, a variety of ceramics, lacquer and glass serving vessels are used in a typical Japanese meal. They are chosen for the season, shape, and color of the food. An array of small dishes are used in kaiseki cuisine.
Kaiseki cuisine originated from Japan’s shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian) cuisine, and is named after the hot rocks that monks carried under their robes to keep warm and to stave off hunger. Kaiseki has since evolved in many directions and can be lavish affairs, featuring multiple courses (up to 16) of seasonal dishes served in small portions in elegant vessels.
Although there are many rules in the kaiseki tradition, contemporary kaiseki has expanded the boundaries in new and exciting ways. Likewise, Western chefs are incorporating Japanese techniques and food traditions to great effect, adding fuel to the fire of cross-cultural inspiration.
But even for the home cook, the enjoyment of Japanese cuisine can be greatly enhanced with just a few well-placed dishes. To learn more about the relationship between food and tableware, as well as food philosophies, recipes and techniques, visit Savory Japan.