Edo kiriko (cut glass) is one of the most familiar of all Japan’s kogei (artisanal crafts). All over the world, its intricate designs and vibrant colors have become synonymous with Japanese artistic sensibility and craftmanship, but its origins might actually surprise you!
First brought to Japan in the late nineteenth century by early British and French traders, cut glass quickly found devotees throughout Japan. Two hubs developed: Kagoshima Prefecture, formerly Satsuma Province, as well as the capital city of Edo, now Tokyo. Accordingly, artisans of Japanese cut glass split into two schools: Satsuma kiriko and Edo kiriko, both of which continue to this day.
Whereas Satsuma kiriko is created using mainly the colors, motifs, and techniques introduced from Europe, Edo kiriko has been adapted to suit Japanese tastes more closely, which is why it is often perceived as quintessentially Japanese by people worldwide.
As one of the most prestigious names in Edo kiriko, Kagami Crystal is an excellent place to witness the ongoing evolution of this exciting craft. Join us and see for yourself.

Edo Kiriko: Exceptional Glassware for Everyday Use

Inside Kagami Crystal’s flagship store in Ginza.

Kagami Crystal’s clients, which include the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan, may lead you to think of Edo kiriko as precious glassware you would use only for special occasions. But make no mistake—Kagami does not stop there, but extends to all occasions.
Broadly speaking, the distinction between art and kogei in Japan comes down to whether an object can be used in daily life. Edo kiriko is firmly in the latter category, so don’t shut it away in a cupboard; let it be part of your everyday!

Form Meets Function

As something to be used, not just admired, Kagami Crystal unsurprisingly reflects Japanese culture and the traditional way of life in its designs. From short glasses with matching carafe designed specifically for sake to vase sets that take you on a journey through the seasons, each item is a product of Japanese culture.

However, Kagami Crystal’s story, like that of Edo kiriko overall, is one of constant evolution. Of course, Japan now has a vibrant culture of its own in whiskey, beer, and Western-style wine. In line with that, Kagami Crystal makes glasses, tumblers, and flutes for all types of drinks and occasions.

Cutting-Edge History

Edo kiriko is cut by hand on a wheel. You can’t actually see the point you are cutting unless you look through the glass, making the level of detail in this glassware all the more amazing.

Apart from its diverse line-up of glassware, which includes a perfect fit for any lifestyle anywhere, there is another reason why Kagami Crystal has become one of the most respected names in Edo kiriko—it was the first manufacturer of crystal in Japan. The difference betwe…

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