Japanese Craft & Culture days

Each year, Creative Matakana has a special design theme happening. In 2018 it was landscape and in 2017 we rolled out some exceptional special food events. In 2019 we’re holding three special days where you can learn some of the timeless arts of Japan in a gorgeous local home and garden. Each day will include some philosophy, food demonstrations, and a delicious Japanese-themed bento box lunch – with sake included!

BOOKINGS OPEN JANUARY 14! Like us on Facebook for updates!

japanese lunches

Our chef for the Japanese craft and culture days is Migiwa Ozawa. Migiwa moved to NZ in 1996 and in 2013 , she founded Tutu Company which focuses on liaising between the Japanese and NZ film industry and catering for film productions by providing bento boxes. She is also qualified as a ‘Shoku-iku’ or food education instructor.

Migiwa’s passion is combining the contemporary western lifestyle with a Japanese tradition, resulting in ‘LOHAS’ – Life of Health and Sustainability. The LOHAS philosophy includes ‘Hara Hachi bun me’ (eat to 80% of fullness); ‘Osusowake’ (share with others) and ‘Mottainai’ (zero waste).

Migiwa will demonstrate a number of classic bento box items and all participants will enjoy lunch together.

313: kintsugi & Furoshiki

Monday May 6 | Fee: $140 per person

Kintsugi: repairing for the better
These days it’s becoming more necessary than ever to repair, reuse and recycle, and it’s often the revival of thrifty, age-old practices which enable us to do this. It helps, of course, if the process makes the object even better!

Kintsugi (also known as kintsukuroi) which loosely translates to 'golden joinery' is the ancient Japanese art form of repairing broken ceramics, using lacquer and gold powder, in a way that is often considered more beautiful than when it was when whole. This technique is a true celebration of 'wabi sabi', the aesthetic appreciation of the character of special objects which may be broken, old or disregarded.

This workshop, with Yoko and Yuka from An Astute Assembly, will take you through easy step-by-step instructions on how to piece back together your broken ceramics to give them a whole new life. 

• You can either bring your own broken ceramic piece (not too complicated please!) or Yoko and Yuka can provide you with one.

• There’s an option to buy a kintsugi kit at the end of your session for further work.


This is the art of folding a simple square of fabric in many different ways to create a reusable and very versatile way of wrapping gifts and creating packaging or carry-bags. As a fantastic environmentally-aware alternative for plastic bags, its use has recently risen hugely in popularity in Japan and around the world. Yuka and Yoko will demonstrate some of the great ways furoshiki can be folded and used.

Yuko and Yoko’s pick of furoshiki has a geometric pattern and is 100% cotton, made in Kyoto, Japan. They say, “You will be obsessed and soon find your own way of folding it!”

Bio: An astute assembly

An Astute Assembly was founded by Yuka O’Shannessy and Yoko Shimoyama in 2014.

A A A focus their attention on revived craft, particularly where centuries-old techniques have all but been lost and are now only practiced by a limited few. They also offer a curated selection of beautiful homewares, clothes, children’s goods and accessories from around the world with strong ties to their two homes –  New Zealand and Japan – in their store on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd.

314: ikebana and furoshiki

tuesday May 7 | Fee: $140 per person

Ikebana (The Japanese art of flower arrangement) will never date and is currently undergoing a resurgence of interest. To understand the particular principles it adheres to, some level of formal training must be undertaken. 

This workshop will teach Ikebana of the Sogetsu school which began in 1927 when the first Ikebana ‘lemoto’ (founder or master), Sofu Teshigahara, questioned traditional principles which he felt put too much emphasis on formality. He explored free and liberated Ikebana expression, respecting individuality. His philosophy  and practice have been adopted all over the world. Anyone can enjoy Sogetsu Ikebana – anytime, anywhere, using any materials. Sometimes it can be very large-scale!

In her demonstration, our tutor Tomoko Hirano will create several Ikebana in which the traditional style is adapted to this more modern style. You’ll see how she expresses herself in the Sogetsu way, using local Matakana materials.

Tomoko will also add another dimension to the Sogetsu Ikebana workshop: you’ll create your own container from a PET recycled plastic bottle, wrapped in a furoshiki. Furoshiki are square pieces of cloth which have been used in various ways in Japan from ancient times to today. There’s been somewhat of a revival of furoshiki due to the anti-plastic movement, so it’s a great time to learn to wrap anything with a furoshiki cloth – including your Ikebana vase! You’ll create your own Sogetsu Ikebana arrangement to take home in your furoshiki vase.  

Tomoko’s bio

Tomoko was born in Japan and moved to New Zealand with her family in 1993. She has more than 40 years of floristry experience, including running her own floristry business, HanaClub NZ. 

Tomoko also gained a second grade Jonin Sanyo teaching qualification for Ikebana in 2016 from the Sogetsu School. She is currently the director of Sogetsu Teachers Association, Auckland Branch, and a member of Ikebana International. She teaches Ikebana in Auckland and from home.

In March 2019, Tomoko will travel to the 100th Anniversary Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition in Tokyo where she will demonstrate and exhibit her work.

315. shibori fabric dyeing

Wednesday May 8 |  * TO BE CONFIRMED*

This full day project-based workshop will introduce students to shibori and indigo blue. When these two processes are combined, the results are quite magical, producing some of the most immediate and creative textiles imaginable.

Shibori is an ancient Japanese resist-dye technique that involves creasing, folding, stitching, binding and knotting, to create beautiful and well defined patterns.