Aramono Matsunoya

Aramono (miscellaneous items for everyday living)

Aramono Matsunoya

This booth display at Japan House London offers a glimpse into the objects which for centuries were essential to everyday life in Japan.

In the Muromachi period (1336-1573 CE), larger, cheaper goods necessary for daily life became known as ‘aramono’ as they were considered to be ‘rough’ (arai). In the early Edo period (1603-1867 CE), the term came to refer generally to brooms, dustpans, pots, kettles, tubs, colanders, and other daily commodities.  

Individual aramono items, such as baskets used while harvesting crops, come in various designs, offering an insight into regional characteristics and lifestyles. Aramono are produced on a ’medium-scale’; neither ’handicraft’ or ’mass produced’, the items are often made by small family businesses operating from home. Rooted in a time before plastic and electricity, where items made from natural materials would be carefully used to ensure longevity; these goods can play a part in sustainable living today.  

The display also includes a full-scale cart loaded with aramono.