Welcome to Motsutou!

Hi there, I’m Emi 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, so happy you are here!

In summer 2018, we moved from NYC to Japan and settled in a small beautiful town here called Wake (wah-keh). This was a big move as a family with two toddlers, but even before then, we moved almost every year for 5 years.

As we became better at moving, we also kept decreasing the size of “stuff” we had. Part of it was due to the limited space, but we also discovered how centered it feels to have and live with just the right amount of belongings.

“Well, what exactly is ‘the right amount’ anyway?” you may ask.

Our attempt on the minimalist lifestyle

For us, it was what we could fit in our storage space. If we can’t store it, it got to go.

This wasn’t easy at first because we’d attached emotions to many things, even when we actually couldn’t remember where we got them or why.

“But we were traveling in Portugal when I bought these pants (which I never wore.).”
“I *am* planning on using this stretching device (which he only used once in the past few years.).”
“So-and-so gave me this for my birthday (but it’s been nicely secured in a box for that day I finally open it.)

Somehow we became experts on finding meanings to our material possessions even though they actually took no physical place in our lives. But apartments in New York City can be brutal with your sentiments, my friend.

So instead of buying a new cabinet to expand the storage while shrinking our living space, we adjusted ourselves to be content with what we could fit. The rest went to giveaway and sales.

The less became more

As we kept doing that in each move, we learned there’s no other way to live. We noticed when we know we have no random clutter in our house… it really, really cleanses our minds. As we minimize our possessions, we also reduce noise in our heads. In a way that we feel our life is elevated, confident with ourselves and our decisions.

On top of less clutter in the apartment, the less we had, the more meaningful each of our items became. We purchased with intentions, from clothing to pillowcases to office pens (because, again, we couldn’t afford more space for storage…literally).

But guess what we never extended these intentions to? Ceramics.

In those five years, we got married and had two babies. Bringing meaningfulness to our crockery was not something I was prepared for. Honestly, I think I was intentionally choosing not-so-meaningful plates and cups so I could care less. I mean, parents, right? I’ll wait till our kids get a little older to handle nice dishes and beautiful cups.

Or so I thought.

Then there was Bizen ware

Now in Japan, with our third child turning into a toddler and the same minimalistic lifestyle in mind, we found Bizen ware. We then learned this one-of-a-kind, closer-to-earth, bare, textured ceramics was actually very nifty and filled with story. That just hit the spot for us.

Every time we meet Bizen ware artists and cautiously choose pieces to purchase from them, we’d ask, “what was the thought behind this piece and the process of making?” Each artist has a reason — or a belief — for the decisions made to create it, and it’s always fascinating. Being inspired, we bring that story back home with our new ceramics.

This has brought our table experience to a whole different level. Since we use these pieces daily, when we see our Bizen ware and feel warmth in our hearts, we think of the artists and their intentions. Not only that, we are reminded of our own reasons for having them on our table. This centers us in our home environment.

Mindfulness is a state of being aware, and we are learning to stretch our awareness to the ceramics and the rest of our house. Because what we choose for our surroundings essentially helps us reconnect to ourselves and our identities. And I hope you join us in the journey here in Motsutou to find a piece that brings out the best in you.

P.S. And the bonus is, we get to tell our kids who made their plates and cups and why we love them! Today our kids are aware of what Bizen ware is, and I promise you they treat them with more caution than plastics.

Scroll to Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.