Do you fancy yourself a Japanophile? Perhaps there exists an inner Japanophile waiting to break free? Maybe, however, you are simply someone who appreciates the Japanese aesthetic in all of its simple, unique, striking and creative splendor. Is it possible that you have always been interested to know more about Japan and its myriad of artistic offerings but have yet to nurture this interest? Do any of these descriptions sound familiar? If so, your next retail experience must start and stop at Kazari + Ziguzagu, Melbourne’s iconic champion and supporter of all things Japanese and beautiful.

Kazari + Ziguzagu is a family business that was founded in the late ‘70s in Armadale by directors Robert Joyce and Jo Maindonald, both members of the AAADA – the Australian Art and Antique Dealers Association – and has been enjoying over 40 years of successful trading. During these 40+ years, Robert and Jo have pursued their shared passion for art, antiques, collectables, textiles and, generally speaking, aesthetics. Kazari was at the forefront of the movement that opened Australians’ eyes for the first time to Japanese design in the ‘80s. The word “kazari” can roughly be translated as “to decorate or adorn in a spiritual manner, comparable to making an offering”. As such, and paralleling some of the core principles of Japanese design, there exists a clearly defined ethos which drives Kazari’s journey – quality of design, craftsmanship and respect for the life of an object. For example, regarding respecting an object’s life, antique timber furniture undergoes a rigorous, delicate and precise process of restoration, thereby literally bringing the piece back to life. Restorations are performed entirely in house, and the restoration process is very clean and very green.

Robert’s and Jo’s passion is overwhelmingly evident upon entry into the retail shop, located at 450 Malvern Road, Prahran, and permeates the entire curated space. Visitors will be treated to an extensive collection of hand-selected Japanese antiques, including furniture, collectable, functional and decorative objects, fine art, folk art, architectural and landscape features and textiles. Textiles, in particular, comprise the Ziguzagu component of the Kazari + Ziguzagu brand and are housed in a specific area at the back of the retail space. Among the treasures to be found here include vintage and contemporary kimono and all of the accompanying dress accessories – for both men and women – thousands of kimono fabric rolls in silk, cotton, hemp and wool, vintage indigo-dyed fabrics and garments, zabuton (floor cushions) and table runners. The extensiveness of the offerings is remarkable. As well, Ziguzagu offers an in-house custom-made service which consists of your specifications and your choice of fabric, the breadth of which is unsurpassed throughout Australia. If textiles occupy a special place in your heart, then a visit to Ziguzagu will blow your mind.

For some, it’s textiles.  For others, it’s art and furniture. Have you ever dreamt of sharing your home with a stunning paneled, hand-painted Japanese silk screen or a 250-year-old sea chest, or dansu, in this lifetime? Kazari can assist you in transforming your dream into an enriching reality. If, like many, you enjoy the old co-existing with the new, then Kazari delivers once again. They have evolved over the years and now offer a wide selection of high-quality contemporary furniture and objet d’art, including pieces from Africa, Indonesia and China. It is now possible to witness 16th century sculpture sharing the same retail space as modern, Danish-style furniture! The diversity is truly breathtaking and deserves to be experienced. Whether your preference is for the old or the new, for paintings or prints, for furniture or fabric, all Kazari stock has been purchased with 40+ years’ experience for authenticity, quality and style. In other words, all pieces have been expertly curated to ensure that your purchase is satisfying and, most likely, one of a kind.

It is very much worth mentioning that a variety of workshops are also offered throughout the year, as it transcends Kazari + Ziguzagu beyond simply a retail business. These workshops are very hands on and allow the participant to dive beneath the surface of the Japanese aesthetic to cultivate a greater sense of knowledge, appreciation and creativity. The workshops have included traditional Japanese stitching, ikebana – the art of flower arrangement, how to wear kimono, sake tasting, furniture restoration, ceramic repair using gold leaf overlay and shibori, the unique Japanese technique of resist dyeing on indigo-dyed fabric. For a list of workshops currently on offer, visit the Kazari + Ziguzagu website:

Images courtesy of Kazari + Ziguzagu

An extensive collection of hand-selected Japanese antiques

A wide selection of high-quality contemporary furniture and object d’art

Lifestyle & Design

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