News from Kazari + Ziguzagu

Win a trip for 2 to Japan!

Thursday, September 19, 2019


As we have been sharing our love of all things Japanese with our customers for 40 years, to celebrate this milestone Birthday, we would like to offer one valued customer and a friend, the opportunity to discover the delights of our Kyoto, Japan.The prize includes two return tickets and five nights in one of our favourite traditional style accommodation - My Kyoto pied a terre. My Kyoto sits in a quiet street close to Ginkakuji (the silver pavilion ),the Philosopher's Path, many famous gardens and temples as well as Daimonji mountain, yet is still close to central Kyoto.

The lucky winner will be drawn on the 24th October 2019. Make a purchase in store, online or at our warehouse from now until 11.59 pm on the 23rd October 2019 to be eligible to enter. Don't forget to ensure we have your contact details upon purchase!

See in store or online for our full Terms and Conditions.


40th Birthday Sale

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Kokeshi at Kazari

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Montague St Warehouse Now Open

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

UPDATED April 2019

Our Montague Street Warehouse is now open to the public!

After 40 years of retail in Cremorne, we have finally closed our doors on our Hill St Warehouse.

Come and visit us at  157-163 Montague St , South Melbourne, 3250, near the corner of City Rd.

Our warehouse opening hours are:

Monday & Tuesday: By appointment only

Wednesday - Friday:  10 - 4pm

Saturday: 10 - 5pm

Sunday 12 - 4pm

Outside opening hours by appointment.

To ensure you are kept up to date with our official opening, special offers and for further information, please sign up to our newsletter.




Transforming the Broken to the Beautiful:The Art of Kintsugi

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.”
- Ernest Hemingway

The famous American writer’s quote could very easily be seen as a metaphor for the age-old Japanese art of kintsugi, in which golden or other precious metallic joinery is used to repair and in the process, transform, broken pottery. The material used is essentially lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. 

Kintsugi is built around a deeply held philosophy; that all things are impermanent and that change and flux are part of the human condition. The art therefore reveres breakage and repair as part of the story of an object, rather than something to mask. Not surprisingly it is also closely linked to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in the flawed or imperfect, the Japanese feeling of mottainai or regret over waste or loss, as well as mushin, the acceptance of change. Kintsugi is also related to the Japanese philosophy of "no mind" which is based on the ideas of non-attachment, acceptance of mutability, and fate.


The history of Kintsugi

Like many Japanese traditions, while kintsugi’s origins also encompass China, Vietnam, and Korea, its application in Japan helped raise it to the level of true artistry.

It is thought to date back to the late 15th century, when, as legend has it, Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a cracked chawan or tea bowl back to China to be mended. He was displeased to find the repaired bowl had been restored with ugly metal staples and spurred his craftsmen to find a more aesthetically pleasing method of repair. Kintsugi is still closely associated with ceramic vessels used for the Japanese tea ceremony although its application has also expanded to a wide variety of objects.



Step by step Kintsugi:

There are numerous kits and workshops available for anyone wishing to repair a loved object and give it new life through the gently restorative art of kintsugi. While the below steps are a simplified breakdown of the method, which requires painstaking cleaning, patient layering and mindful waiting (or drying time), they provide a useful starting point for understanding this time-honoured tradition.
  1. Break: Accept the impermanence of all things and gather the fragments of the broken object. Make the choice to give a new life to the object instead of discarding it.
  2. Assemble: Clean the fragments with a brush or cloth. Collect the necessary tools (spatula, palette, lacquer, brushes, gold powder, drying box, chopsticks, turpentine, sandpaper, silk cotton...). Carefully assess and assemble the puzzle of the broken object.
  3. Repair: Apply layers of lacquer with a very fine brush on all broken edges of the object and assemble them to make the object whole.
  4. Embellish: Apply gold powder with cotton or application tube onto the still sticky lacquer. Once the lacquer dries, use a soft cloth to remove excess gold powder and reveal the gold scars.
  5. Protect: Use a thin layer of protective lacquer to fix the gold. Let it dry for 24 hours. This last step is not always performed as it affects the colour of the gold.

In our western modern world, bound by consumerism, waste and attachment to unrealistic ideals of beauty, the concept of kintsugi has much to teach us. If you would like to know more about kintsugi at Kazari + Ziguzagu we would be more than happy to assist you. We also offer a kintsugi service to bring new life and a beautiful new layer of meaning to objects in need of repair and restoration.


Wabi Sabi For Contemporary Spaces

Friday, August 24, 2018

Scarlet Opus, a highly regarded global design trend forecaster, have given a macro trend forecast around the concept of imperfect beauty, releasing a blog post How to Embrace the Wabi Sabi Design Concept in March this year. This trending topic is also gaining attention in Australian design circles, with the much anticipated recent release of the Dulux Colour Forecast 2019. Now is the perfect time to revisit the concept of Wabi-Sabi; its Japanese aesthetic tradition and its place in contemporary design. 

Wabi sabi meaning

The Wabi-Sabi meaning, simply translates from the Japanese:

Wabi - ‘tranquil simplicity/elegance in poverty’

Sabi - ‘patina of age’

Suki - ‘subtle elegance’

This meaning is explored in more depth in a previous post on Wabi Sabi Suki. The concept of wabi sabi is about beauty in everyday things - originating from Japanese aesthetic ideas of transience, imperfection, simplicity, fragility and incompleteness. Kintsugi, the practice of repairing broken ceramics and pottery with gold is an example of a wabi sabi design principle. The item is considered more beautiful and is more highly valued because of its flaws and individuality. 

"If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi."

- Andrew Juniper1


Where and when it originated

Wabi sabi ideology came from Zen Buddhism, which was introduced to Japan from China in 1191 by Aisay, a monk who returned to Japan intending to build a Zen Temple. The words wabi and sabi originally had negative meanings of loneliness or poverty and decrepit old age but evolved into a bittersweet aesthetic philosophy that has shaped Japanese design for hundreds of years, and is still influential today.  

The influence of wabi sabi can be seen in various forms of Japanese artistic expression. Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591)2 is believed to have transformed tea ceremony into what it’s known as today - a humble ritual of preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart with an intense awareness of their surroundings, and a deep appreciation for natural form and simple beauty. Ideas of wabi sabi led to the haiku poem being created by Matsuo Bashō in the Edo region in 1684. Haikus have been embraced and adapted into Western poetry and culture - their short, simple celebrations of transient beauty have universal appeal.

Wabi sabi’s growing popularity in the West

"Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."

- Richard Powell3

Recently, the concept of wabi sabi has been brought to the forefront of Western design consciousness, featuring on popular television shows like The Block. Wabi sabi challenges beauty in its traditional forms by celebrating imperfection. It is this aspect of nurturing the authentic self that holds modern appeal for the contemporary design space: allowing a uniquely personal expression of form and function.


Wabi sabi: a way to view beauty and the world

Western ideals of beauty depict perfection, strength and youthful invincibility. Instead of viewing beauty as something fixed and unchanging, wabi sabi teaches that beauty is relative, and therefore open to change through the passage of time.  

Wabi sabi refers not only to a design aesthetic expressed through furniture, art and decor, but philosophical way of life.

Why Shop Antique?

What better way to celebrate the concept of transience than owning a piece of furniture that has a rich patina of history? Antique stores like Kazari + Ziguzagu stock quality pieces, lovingly restored, that have stood the test of time. By choosing to buy antiques, we reduce our environmental impact and guarantee a unique object, enhanced and improved with age.


Wabi sabi styling in modern spaces

The minimalist style that is so popular right now entwines perfectly with the Japanese ideal of beauty in simplicity. Most Japanese furniture and decor pieces derive their essence from simplicity and can be styled to look completely at home in a contemporary space. Appreciating the beauty of our everyday life promotes peace and tranquility, no matter the culture or setting. 

1Juniper, Andrew (2003). Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence . Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3482-2.  
2Maxwell, Catherine. Wabi Sabi: The Essentials of Japanese aesthetics . Hitokuchi Memo. Omusubi vol. 16. The Japan Foundation. ISSN 1832-0341.
3Powell, Richard R. (2004). Wabi Sabi Simple . Adams Media. ISBN 1-59337-178-0.


Our Warehouse Closing Down Sale

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Kazari Warehouse Closing Down Sale:

We recently sold our warehouse in Hill St, Cremorne. It has been our storeroom, restoration workshop and showroom for more than 30 years. Loved by many, while overwhelming others, it is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of eclectic items.

A bumper re-location sale is about to be announced as we will be vacating in the next few months – many items are already on sale, including furniture, textiles and ceramics, and others will be added over the coming weeks.

Sign up for the mailing list (by entering your details at the foot of the page on our website) to receive all notifications – re – bumper Closing Sale and our new home!



Japanese Antiques in Contemporary Spaces // The Design Co-Op, Melbourne Design Week

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Design Co-Op, at Melbourne Design Week 2018, was an opportunity to showcase how well Japanese antiques can work in contemporary spaces.


About The Design Co-Op + Melbourne Design Week

Now in its second year, Melbourne Design Week is a series of talks, exhibitions, workshops, tours and other industry events held at a range of venues across the city and state. Created to “celebrate the diversity and impact of design while giving local Victorian designers the exposure they deserve”, the theme for 2018 was Design Effects. The event is a partnership between the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Victorian government’s creative industries strategy, Creative State. It ran from 15-25 March 2018.

The Design Co-Op was one event in the suite presented during the week, running from 23-25 March at Glow Studios in West Melbourne. The event was a collaboration between some of the best and brightest in Australian design community: interior designers and brands with a focus on design. 14 brands, 3 interior designers and 20 industry professionals were involved, brought together by Liz Bull of One Fine Print, a company working with talented photographers to create photographic prints for the home, and Anne-Claire Petre of Anaca Studio, a furniture design practice.

The Design Co-Op was created to “bring together brands, interior designers and design enthusiasts to meet and exchange ideas” and to “strengthen relationships, share knowledge, and seed ideas”. The event featured a showcase, with the studio space transformed into a home by three guest interior designers ( Lauren Li, Fiona Parry-Jones and Manuela Millan), and a series of talks focused on “empowering attendees to realise that any space can be transformed into a meaningful ‘home’”. Sessions covered topics like using design to create the Australian dream in a rental property, designing and styling a thoughtful home, and buying good design and avoiding instant decoration gratification.



Antiques in contemporary spaces

Kazari + Ziguzagu featured as part of the showcase collaboration at The Design Co-Op, with a range of pieces on show. These antiques were a perfect match for the focus on creating the feeling of ‘home’ using high quality design pieces. The way the spaces were pulled together highlighted how Asian antiques can be incorporated into contemporary spaces as an accent, without being confined to a themed space. You don’t have to have an entire Japanese-style home to see the benefit of antique Japanese pieces: they can complement any style, and will look incredibly contemporary when combined with new design styles.



There are three main reasons to incorporate Japanese antiques into your home design, regardless of the style. These were on display at the Melbourne Design Week showcase.

1. Unique Style

Design-savvy people prioritise having high quality pieces in their home and typically look for unique pieces with a story and personality, instead of opting for the same mass-produced goods that are found everywhere. Antiques offer something completely unique. Many Kazari Japanese antiques are over a century old, and were handcrafted by artisans skilled in their trade. This kind of individuality makes the perfect statement piece for your home.



2. Sustainability

If you’re thoughtful about what you include in your home, you probably already consider sustainability when selecting pieces for your space. There’s nothing quite like antiques when it comes to sustainability: reusing beautiful pieces of design that were created long ago instead of producing new ones. You know you’re being light on the planet by electing to use what we already have, and you also know you’re getting quality: these pieces have proven themselves through their longevity.


3. Contemporary feel

Contemporary style is often eclectic, incorporating a range of different periods and styles along with newer pieces. Everything old is new again, and vintage or antique styles can look incredibly contemporary in a fresh context. As trends come and go, classic pieces stand the test of time and will look contemporary for decades to come. 


Thanks to everyone who was involved in The Design Co-Op, especially the three wonderful interior designers who paired our pieces so perfectly with complementary products.

Browse our range today to find the perfect piece for your home, whatever your style.

Photo credits: Elizabeth Bull and Jonathon Griggs

Featured - Donna Hay Magazine

Monday, April 30, 2018

Antique Japanese accounting ledgers supplied by Kazari + Ziguzagu have been featured in Donna Hay Magazine. These books date back to the Edo period, 18th century and were used to style contemporary Japanese dishes in the Autumn 2018 issue of the magazine, available now.


Crispy rice cakes with spicy sashimi tuna and green tea



Miso clams with udon noodles and pickled shitake mushrooms



AAADA Melbourne Antique Fair 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

After a year on hiatus the Melbourne Antique Fair is back on the calendar, presented by the Australian Art & Antique Dealers Association, it will run from May 4th-6th in a new location in the Town Square Pavilion at the Melbourne Showgrounds.  With the opening Gala preview evening on Thursday 3rd May.

For tickets and further information please visit the AAADA website. We won't be at the fair in a retail capacity this year however highly recommend a visit. It's just like walking through the pages of history.