As much as fun as it is to share our discoveries from Kyoto, we love it when our dearest friends share their fabulous finds and stories with us. I was reminded of this one recent afternoon when I received a large purple envelope sent from Tamar Freund, a long-time part of the Tatcha family (and whose name means “friend” in German, how perfect is that?). Tucked alongside a lovely personal note were three delicate, decades-old pamphlets highlighting Japanese traditions. One was dedicated to geisha, another to honeymoons and the last explores the fascinating history and cultivation of pearls. Here are a couple of my favorite passages:

On cultivated pearls

“The best strings, especially those sent to Europe, where pearls have long been looked upon with reverence and admiration, are made up of select pearls with choice lustre and color, but with just an occasional imperfection. If they are too perfect, they look like imitation!”

On the ama

Women divers, called ama, many of whom are past middle age, dive for the oysters… they are able to work successfully in depths up to 40 feet. After working at this depth for a minute to a minute and a half, they return to the surface…

It’s always touching to receive a meaningful gift from a friend, and even more delightful when it illuminates wisdom from generations past. A huge, heartfelt  thank you to sweet and thoughtful Tamar Freund for these photo books, which are a beautiful addition to our library and a treasured peek into Japanese history.

Always,

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published July 2015

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