Kukkia – Toys from Japan
Lovers of minimalist design and natural materials will find their spirit animal in the world of Kukkia—a Japanese line of wooden toys, conceived by Kaz Shiomi, designed to spark the imaginations of mini cosmopolitan creatives the world over.
Two collections—gg* and kiko+—feature tactile shapes and sublime colours that reveal the natural wood grain, which is finished in beeswax and packaged in eco-cotton bags. We love the wooden sushi sets as much as the burger and fries combo, perfect for the play kitchen or tea party. Who says fries don’t go with sashimi? In the Kukkia world, there are no limits to imaginative, creative play. To really win them over—pack a pair of ashiato animal footprints in your beach bag—wooden toy sandals that leave animal tracks instead of footprints. Budding architects and city planners will go gaga over the machi New York set. The city that never sleeps is the third edition to the world mini town series and comes with an iconic yellow cab, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and a chalkboard base, perfect for making their very own street art.
To discover more about Kaz, we’ve asked her few questions.
1. Do you remember what your children’s room looked like?
Yes, I shared a room with my younger sister so we had a bunk bed and I was on the bottom bunk. Japan doesn’t really paint walls in the traditional style houses- it is mostly wallpaper or traditional sand rendering. I had many soft toys but also wooden toys hand made by my grandpa.
2. Between you and us: were you the kind of girl who kept the room clean and tidy? Or weren’t you?
Actually our room was quite tidy and clean!
3. From your point of view: what exactly makes a good children’s toy?
I think something unique and original which isn’t already on the market. I try to see things from the child’s perspective so that they really enjoy playing with it and it isn’t just for show.
4. Do you have any upcoming other city in mind?
Yes! We are contemplating Milan as I have never been but hopefully will this year!
5. Where are you based? What’s the best place for kids there?
I am based in Osaka, Japan. Our offices and shop are located right next to the beautiful Utsubo park which is a great place to bring the kids, because they can play in the fountain and run around. Then parents can stop at one of the many surrounding cafes or come to our shop to play with our wooden toys!
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Text by Jennifer Irizarry