Aramono - Miscellaneous Household Items and Their Makers:
Talk by Matsuno Hiroshi


Watch a recording of the event in the player above.

In conjunction with the display of Aramono (miscellaneous items for everyday use), Japan House is delighted to present a talk by Matsuno Hiroshi, owner of Matsunoya, a wholesaler of miscellaneous household items which can be found in the popular Yanaka Ginza shopping lane in Tokyo.

Aramono refers to objects such as brooms, dustpans, and kitchen tools, all items for use in daily life found in most Japanese homes. Aramono items are individual and one-and-only, sometimes rough and imperfect, as they are made of natural materials often by hand or manufactured in one of the small workshops that can be found scattered around Japan. Unchanged for decades, made of straw, tin or bamboo, aramono have a retro charm and often do not fail to surprise with their functional, ingenious designs.

In his talk, Matsuno Hiroshi sheds light on the history of the manufacture of tools and objects used in everyday life, which have remained unaltered despite changing lifestyles or the introduction of new production technologies and materials in Japan. The speaker also shares the vision behind the business model based on collaboration with small-scale local businesses and makers in tandem with opportunities for retired senior citizens to engage afresh in the workforce and learn new skills. This illustrated talk provides a chance to get to know the story behind objects used in everyday life and to get to know their individual makers.


About the speaker

Matsuno Hiroshi was born in Tokyo in 1953. He is the owner of Matsunoya, a wholesaler and retailer of miscellaneous household items based in Tokyo. After studying bag making at Ichizawa Hanpu in Kyoto from 1977 to 1981, he returned to his place of birth. Influenced by bluegrass music and heavy-duty workwear, he shifted his business focus to everyday items when he took over his family's wholesale bag business. Since then, he has been supplying Japanese households with sustainable items indispensable in daily life. Matsunoya staff travel across Japan to find items lovingly made in small, local factories and farms. The company also produces its own original aramono by working directly with small manufacturers.