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An “Ocean Shop” like a Museum. Kaisou is a Recommended Shop for Ocean Lovers.
post : 2019.08.15 05:00
In the early 90s, the transparency level of the seas off the Kerama Islands was unbelievable and after thoroughly enjoying days of diving, I came across this shop, Kaisou.
During those days, the movie Le Grand Bleu was released in Japan, introducing the amazing feat of the free-diving legend, Jacques Mayol, and when Patagonia opened its first shop in Japan.
It was a time when Kokusai Street in Naha still had the thick nostalgic air of the Showa Era.
Fast forward 23 years. The main street in Naha’s commercial area has become more modern, and Kaisou continues to create and offer accessories and various goods to the ocean lovers, long after the dolphin and whale trends have come and gone.
The passion for the seas by the owner of the shop has apparently remained the same as that first time I stepped foot into his shop.
The owner is Yoji Mori, who, like his father and his grandfather, chose his path as a professional diver. For him, the ocean has always been his playground since childhood, but also a place of work, catching urchins and abalones to make a living.
He relocated to Okinawa from Aomori and began working as a scuba diving guide.
He then began making wooden objects and sculptures, offering his work to divers who came to Okinawa looking for a break from the bustling cities.
Mori-san enjoyed creating pieces with the wood carried to the shores by the waves, because since was a kid, he was always good with his hands.
The dolphins, dugongs, and manta rays made with wood were the beginning of Kaisou.
He used an indigenous wood called Kuruchi, or Ryukyu ebony that is also used to make Sanshin.
Creations by Mori-san began to gather popularity among those who love the seas of Okinawa, as you could feel the warmth and passion of the creator, and you could carry a piece of Okinawa’s seas wherever you go.
The word spread to tourists, and he expanded his merchandise to various accessories, T-shirts, and other unique tools related to the seas.
Presently, there are five Kaisou Shops in Naha, and another near the Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu Town.
Being an ocean lover myself, my top recommendation among the shops are of course, the 2nd Branch on Heiwa Dori.
They have accessories made with natural materials as well as silver, T-shirts with designs of Okinawa’s nature and animals, and the very rare and unique “ocean tools” that are sure to tickle the fancy of any and all ocean lovers.
When I say the shop is like a museum, that’s because of the amazing displays. There’s a jaw bone of a sperm whale, a horn and skull from a narwhal unicorn whale, and other real specimens on display.
At the far end of the shop is a studio that looks like an attic, and although it’s small, it has a very strong presence.
Through the glass walls, visitors can observe the creator at work, making pendants and other accessories.
As you watch, you’ll see the baleen or the green turban shell that the maker is working with, turn into a shiny piece of accessory.
Even if you’re not a huge ocean fan, there are many interesting things to see that are scattered around the shop that you, your friends and family will enjoy. If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, stop by Kaisou.
Kaisou No. 2 Heiwa Dori Branch
Address: 3-2-56 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 9:00 to 21:00 (Open Year Round)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Nobuya Fukuda