Spreading Cheer with Enterprising Gifts

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Nikkei Entrepreneur Spotlight Contributing Writer Mieko Beyer and the @LASmallBizcubator are proud to introduce entrepreneurs and small business owners of Japanese descent from around Southern California to you this holiday season. Support our vibrant community of entrepreneurs and shop local this holiday season.

CRFT by Maki

 ACCESSORIES Dad bod is out, Dad hat is in.“Dad” style baseball cap, available in black and white, 100% cotton twill. Tsuru Dad Hat, $33, designed by Darin Maki, available for purchase at CRFTbymaki.com

HOMEWARE Possibilities are endless for organizing and decorating with CRFT by Maki’s sleek creation. All Purpose Tray, $12, 8” X 5.5” in black, designed by Darin Maki, available for purchase at CRFTbymaki.com

Tokoname Store

TOOLS FOR THE COOK The Tokoname Crock is both traditional and innovative. Suitable for the preparation and storage of pickles, miso, plum, bran pickles, and more. Made from Tokoname red clay, which prevents water absorption. The thick body protects contents from air damage and temperature changes. Tokoname ware is one of Six Ancient Kilns in Japan, produced in and around Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture. With over 900 years of history in its quality material and its manufacturing method. $128, designed by Yamagen Toen, available for purchase at hakko.online/shop

TOOLS FOR THE COOK Tokoname Suyaki Spoon is the cutest spoon around for scooping up salt in the kitchen. Made from a blend of two clays, it is porous and water-absorbing, which prevents salt from clumping. $18, designed by Yamagen Toen, available for purchase at hakko.online/shop/

 

Kisa Noreen

JEWELRY Welcome the new year with kagamimochi or okasane earrings handcrafted in Los Angeles with freshwater pearls from Kisanoreen. Kagamimochi earrings, $24, designed by Kisa Ito, available for purchase at kisanoreen.etsy.com

TENZO

TOOLS FOR THE COOK The Hagama Rice Cooker by Suzuki Co. is a simple and elegant traditional style rice cooker made in Yokkaichi City, Japan. The ceramic base holds in even heat for perfectly fluffy steamed rice. Features an inner lid with holes to allow just the right amount of steam to escape, and an outer lid made of hinoki cypress that gives off a delicate woodsy scent as it cooks. Makes 3 go, the Japanese rice cup measurement, which is equivalent to about 2 1/4 U.S. cups. Includes a shou sugi ban wooden trivet and a hinoki rice spatula. Clay base and inner lid, hinoki Japanese cypress outer lid. 3 go capacity, 55 oz. $165, available for purchase at ShopTenzo.com

TABLETOP One-of-a-kind ceramic decanter made by Los Angeles-based ceramicist Shoshi Watanabe. The natural properties of ceramic clay gently ionize the liquid contents and smooth out their flavor, making it a perfect everyday water carafe or decanter for whiskey. The Jasper decanter features a greenish-grey crackle glaze with orange and red accents over a stoneware base. Made in LA. Clay with natural cork stopper. Holds 28 oz., 7” x 4 1/2” x 3 1/2”, Ceramic Decanter in Jasper, $140, available for purchase at ShopTenzo.com.

Buttery Popcorn Co

HOLIDAY SNACK Buttery Popcorn Co Holiday Tin, locally made kettle corn with no artificial flavorings or preservatives, all from scratch. Just for the winter holiday season, Buttery will be serving up their Signature Caramel flavor, the slowly baked, confectionary variety that started it all. They will also have Caramel Butter, a quick, kettlecooked style. Other flavors include Cheddar, Kettle, Cinnamon Toast, Apple Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Root Beer Float, Matcha Milk and Chile Limon. Available in 1- and 2-gallon containers. $15 and up. Created by Mitchell Ida. Available for purchase at www.butterypopcornco.com.

Hello Sushi Store

ACCESSORIES Neoprene Zippered Pouches by Hello Sushi feature bright, food-themed artwork on the front and back and are handy for storing any small items like change, cards or cash. A great way to help organize a purse! Designed by Brian Kanagi, $7.95, available for purchase at Bunkado in Little Tokyo, 340 E. First St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fickle Wish (Anime Jungle)

APPAREL Limited-Edition DenQ X Fickle Wish Collaboration T-Shirt features a design by indie artist DenQ, a Japanese illustrator who elicits a Showa-era comic book vibe. This unique collaboration is a kawaii response to the political distress of the LGBTQ and Latinx communities. Fickle Wish is an Anime Jungle-owned boutique in Little Tokyo carrying Harajuku-style fashion and art. Limited-Edition DenQ X Fickle Wish Collaboration T-Shirt, artwork by DenQ, $30, available for purchase at Fickle Wish, 319 E. Second St., #122, Los Angeles, CA 90012

K-Stand

MUSICIAN’S GEAR K-Stand is a hand-crafted, collapsible stand for acoustic guitars and ukuleles. Its unique design is shaped like the acoustic instrument body and only a half-inch high when collapsed, allowing it to be stored in the instrument case along with the instrument. Unfold the wooden stand and it interlocks to become a sturdy upright holder and attractive display. K-Stand is currently designed to support three types of instruments: acoustic guitars, soprano and concert ukuleles, tenor and baritone ukuleles. K-Stand, designed by Keith Kimura, $80, available for purchase at www.k-stand.com

Edwin Ushiro

BOOKS  “Edwin Ushiro: Gathering Whispers” is a haunting monograph that explores the work of Edwin Ushiro, whose atmospheric paintings recapture the ecstasy, wonder and dread that illuminated and shadowed the endless summer days of his childhood in Hawaii. With an introduction by Giant Robot founder and curator Eric Nakamura and an essay by Amanda Erlanson that delves into the cultural, historical and personal backdrop of Ushiro’s vision, this book features 71 impeccably reproduced color plates. A deluxe volume providing a wealth of insight into the ethereal world of a gifted and enigmatic artist. Hardcover, 112 pages. $45, written by Amanda Erlanson, available for purchase at  www.zeropluspublishing.com/edwin.htm#images/edwin2.jpg 

Japangeles

APPAREL Kanpai! Little Tokyo’s own streetwear brand, Japangeles, launched Kirin’s first collab line this year, with limited-edition printed tees, sweaters and tote bags you can’t find anywhere else. Rock the popular Japanese beer brand on your sleeve while walking the streets of Little Tokyo. Japangeles X Kirin Ichiban Line T-Shirt, $28, available for purchase at Japangeles flagship store, 335 E. Second St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tamiko Creations

JEWELRY The Origami Crane Necklace by Tamiko Creations comes in 14K Gold-plated or Antique Silver-plated options. The crane is considered a symbol of honor, peace and loyalty in Japan. This is one of the most basic, simple and most popular origami designs of all time. Origami Crane Necklace, $35, available for purchase at tamikocreations.com

Popkiller

APPAREL Popkiller in Little Tokyo presents the Daisuke Okamoto Shirt Series. Influenced by all that is sci-fi, Japanese nationalism and psychedelic culture, Tokyo-based Popkiller featured artist Daisuke Okamoto creates drawings with intricate systems of penmanship often taking years to complete a single design. Popkiller Artist Series Daisuke Okamoto Classic Tees, $29, artwork by Daisuke Okamoto, available for purchase at Popkiller, 343 E. Second St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Shoshi Watanabe

TABLETOP Sake Cup by Shoshi Ceramics is a porcelain cup for tea or sake. Sake Cup, $20, designed by Shoshi Watanabe, available for purchase at otherwild.com.

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