Kaikado Tea Caddy
The Kaikado tea caddy was first crafted by Kiyosuke Kaikado in the Edo era, when it was commonplace to store tea in jars made from china and earthenware.
The tea ceremony, which is known to have originated from Kyoto, was an essential part of everyday life. Kaikado first designed the caddy as a way of respecting such traditions, which left a lasting impression on both locals and tea dealers.
Kaikado tailor made each tea caddy to meet the needs of every individual and to provide a means of storage for various types of tea leaves. The precision inherent in the hand-made process of the tea caddies is unique to Kaikado. Soon after, Kaikado tea caddies were not only used in Kyoto but also throughout Western Japan.
Otokichi succeeded the craft in 1916 and was said to be the most able craftsman of all generations. Leading the third generation, Hikojiro continued to create Kaikado tea caddies through difficult times during World War II when materials were scarce and tools were sent away to the battlefield. In the postwar era, there was an advent of cheaply made tea caddies in Japan. Dissatisfied with this, the fourth generation successor, Shouchi, continued to make tea caddies in the traditional manner, at the same time developing a caddy made from copper. Seiji, in the fifth generation, began to create portable tea caddies suited to the individual user. Seiji also developed a caddy made from brass.
Its double walled design retains the flavour and quality of freshly picked tealeaves as well as coffee beans, herbs and spices. Each tea caddy is hand built to last generations of use and will develop a rich patina over time.
Following a meticulous crafting process that involves 140 steps, the dye and mould from the founding generation are still in use today and these hand-made tin tea caddies have remained true to the designs established by Kiyosuke Kaikado.