Itoigawa Jade Studio KOTAKI
The Story of Jade
From the earliest time in Japan, only those elected were able to keep "jade" as a symbol of wealth and power.
Jade magatama (Comma-shaped stone beads) and other jade items are excavated in Japan, and a legend of Itoigawa jade was written in Japan's oldest history book.
It is said that jade was used for many purposes such as adornments much the same as other gems, and it was also used for pray rituals.
In foreign countries, jade has been used as a mat erial of adornments and furnishings because of its beauty.
It's also used for divination and healing the body as a stone having mysterious force, jade is an interesting stone that has been used for a similar purpose all over the world.
Japan's Jade Culture
Jade culture even in foreign countries has existed since the early times.
It is said that the culture started about 250 year s ago in China, 1400 years ago in the Korean Peninsula, and 3000 years ago in Central America. Japan's jade culture is said to be the world's oldest, and started about 7000 years ago.
However, the jade excavated from ruins had thought to have been brought from other continents until modern times.
Noblemen owned it as a symbol of wealth and power, religious leaders used i t for rituals.
Because of those reasons, people had believed that it had the means to hold a magical force, a kind of guardian stone, and a material used for rituals.
It still fascinates many people today.
It disappeared from the limelight for a temporary period in history (for reasons unknown).
It has been prized once again since the Meiji era, being used as a material for jewelry items, such as sash clips, rings, and necklaces.
There are two types of jade, "jadeite" and "nephrite" according to their mineral compositions.
Together they have been referred to as "jade", but they are quite different from a mineralogical point of view .
It's said "jadeite” is more valuable than "nephrite" as a gem.
In general, the harder the gem is, the higher it is worth.
For example, diamond is the hardest so it's the most expensive among gems.
"Jadeite" is as hard as peridot and amethyst, where as "nephrite" is softer lik e lapis lazuli and turquoise.
From ancient times up to the modern times, the hardness of gems has become one of the criteria to determine the value of the stone.
The main component of jade is "jadeite".
It is not very well known but "jade pyroxene" is primarily a white stone.
Those containing chromite and divalent iron become green, while those containing titanium or iron become shiny blue or purple.
Depending on the amount of iron contained in the pyroxene, the vividness of each stone and size of the colored part are determ ined.
The Itoigawa jade vein produces prim arily white jade, which seems marble-like and is characterized by many bright green spots.
Jade is said to be a 600 million year old stone which is older than the forming of Japan's land on earth, and it can only be extracted from jade pyroxene rock or veins containing nephrite.
Therefore, the geographical origin of jade has been limited to very few areas in the world.
The main origins of jadeite have been Myanmar, Russia,Mesoamerica, and Japan, whereas the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, New Zealand, and the United States are the main origins of nephrite.
Domestic jade origins have been scattered from Hokkaido to Kyushu.
However, the Itoigawa region is known as the largest and the best origin in Japan.
In our studio KOTAKI, we use only Itoigawa jade extracted from the Itoigawa region.
I have collected unusual stones and crystals since my childhood, and started making things at the studio because I was attracted to Itoigawa jade.
Focusing on hand-making and extracting the natural shine of jade products, I'd like many people to know Japanese jade culture and inform the world of it from Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture.
<Working as an Award-Winning Mountain Photographer>
I'm a member of Japan Alpine Photographers Association, and have won prizes for my entries i n mountain magazine photo contests.
My works have been published in photo books, on posters and calendars.
<All works are originals made by our studio craftsmen>
Our craft smen are producing handmade jade items, one by one in our studio.
They are directl y involved from selecting gemstones, processing, to sales. Therefore, we are not able to sell a large number of products.
Please understand that we sometimes need to keep the customer waiting, because
we would like to produce works that satisfy them.
How to Identify the Value of Jade
〈Is the color of jade green?〉
Many people imagine that jade must be a vivid green color. However, when you think about diamond there is a variety of colors such as pink, yellow, and black.
Jade also has a variety of colors such as red, blue, white, black, and p urple. White is the basic color of the main component of jade pyroxene.
Pure white jade, excluding any other color is of as high value as dark green jade.
〈Transparency, flaws, and color unevenness〉
Diamond is a
familiar gem to everyone.
Its value is dependent not only due to the way of cutting or size of the st ones, but also the existence of flaws within the gemstones.
This is also true for jade, the one which is of high transparency in a dark color with no flaws or color unevenness is said to be high quality.
〈Be aware of artificial luster !〉
Only dark green jadeite can no longer be easily extracted.
Even though we can source it, it is very expensive.
It 's rare to find a high value part within natural gemstones, n ot o nly j ade but o ther s tones too.
Therefore, you must be careful when seeking such products as there are some treatments (coloring processing by the use of wax) and enhancements (heat treatment) so as to look like more valuable stones.
This shop contains no
Our products Basic
Basic, refers to jade products which have been carefully processed but with flaws or uneven coloring.
Our products High Quality
Products made from jade which h ave been carefully selected for reasons such as high transparency but contain small flaws or uneven coloring.
Our products Premium
Products made from further more carefully selected jade to be among the highest quality ranking, making up approximately just 5% of all jade.
Historic gems become your amulet
The color of jade heals you gracefully and naturally
How to Choose
Jade bead size
There are three sizes of jade beads. We recommend 8 mm or 10 mm for female, 10 mm for male, and 12 mm for men with bigger physiques.
There are a variety of colors such as white, green, light green, black, purple, and blue. You can choose your favorite color.
Fit any scene
You can use jade in a wide range of scenes from casual everyday use to formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, and other life events,or even for business.
Bracelet size (inside diameter)
First, please measure around your wrist. We recommend you to choose one a little bigger than the actual size of your wrist.
Plus 0 cm: Fit your wrist / Plus 1 cm: We recommend ! / Plus 2 cm: Comfortable size
Men wearing image
[Model's wrist size: 16 cm Stone size used: 10 mm]
Women wearing image
[Model's wrist size: 14 cm Stone size used: 8 mm]
Gifts for your important friends
We send our bracelets and pendants packaged in beautiful jade colored boxes.We also offer gift wrapping.
Itoigawa Jade Studio KOTAKI
Gallery Information（Closed on Sundays and on irregular holidays / Open from 8: 30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.）
The gallery of Itoigawa Jade Studio KOTAKI is located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture.
The gallery is situated in a convenient place, just a 10-minute walk from Matsumoto Station, and also a 10-minute walk to Matsumoto Castle.We run the gallery in a corner of the "Tea Room Koide" situated along the Metoba River where clear water flows. The tea room was founded in 1976 and has been kept by the family of Ko taki's representative.
Inside the shop offers a kind of nostalgic atmosphere, just like a Showa retro style. We recommend the handmade dripped "coffee", the "pizza toast" which has been a popular item on the menu sin ce the shop started, and the original tasting "cream soda".When you come to Matsumoto City,
I hope you'll visit here and enjoy looking at our jade products and feel the atmosphere of the Showa era and let time pass slowly.
Recommended places around our gallery
- 〈National Treasure: Matsumoto Castle〉 The five outer, six inner storied Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure, and the oldest castle in Japan.
- 〈Yohashira Shrine〉 It is a familiar venerable power spot in Matsumoto.
- 〈Nakamachi Street〉 You can enjoy the unique traditional atmosphere being able to find many old storehouses along the street.
- 〈Matsumoto castle town spring water area〉 There are a number of wells and water springs downtown. The area has been selected as one of“ The Top 100 Springs of the Heisei Period” in Japan.
- 〈Nawate Street〉 A charming shopping street selling Japanese nostalgic toys and snacks.
- 〈The Northern Japan Alps〉 You can view the Northern Japan Alps from the city（. Photo : Alps Park）
In Itoigawa Jade Studio KOTAKI, we use only domestic Itoigawa j ade.
Cherishing the natural shine, our craftsmen produce jade items one by one carefully by hand.
2-2-5 Ote, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0874 JAPAN TEL:+81-263-36-3092 Mail: email@example.com