Anzen Hardware X CRFT by Maki

Anzen Hardware has always been this mystical place to me as a kid. Against an old brick wall and inside squeaky glass cases were items not readily available in the states. Imported ryoba and chisels, jikatabi footwear and hand-forged knives from an operating 600 year old Japanese sword company—if you ever had fantasies of being a real life ninja this was your stockpile.
Starting off as a hotel supply store in 1946 by Tsutomu Maehara, Anzen served the many single room occupancy hotels around the neighborhood. As the hotels dwindled down with more businesses moving in, Maehara decided to pivot to a hardware store in order to supply the flourishing neighborhood. Community first. 
In 1954,  a high school kid fresh from Hiroshima by the name of Nori Takatani strolled into the store and has since planted his roots. Now the current owner and operator, you can catch Nori everyday in the hardware store usually taking questions from curious patrons on the foreign whatchamacallits on display.
I could have never imagined 2020 would be like this—opening a new storefront during a pandemic— but we are super fortunate it’s here in Little Tokyo. There is a sense of reassurance in seeing the community come together and knowing the legacy businesses have survived way worse, it makes you feel like everything will be alright. There are hurdles for legacy businesses in a world of digital commerce and so this collaboration aims to offset some of the economic setbacks.
 
In this bundle you will receive a limited pocket tee with a set of gardening gloves and a pack of seeds of your liking. Pre-orders will end on November 23rd and we encourage you to pick up in person December 19th and 20th.
Kindly show your email confirmation and you will receive your bundle, then walk over to Anzen and show your box and pick out your seeds of choice. For those unable to show up in person, please perform a normal check out and we will send you seeds chosen by Nori. In the end we aim to attract more people to visit this living, breathing historical landmark and to think twice about going to Home Depot.
Shop the look here
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Special Thanks : Anzen Hardware, Philip Hirose (Azay), Dave Wu, Kyle Kawakami, Justin Kawaguchi & Kristen Fukushima (LTCC), Kisa Ito (Go Little Tokyo)

7 comments

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XCIjKsoAGYhyRM November 26, 2020

Hello,
I have fond memories of going to Nihonmachi every weekend to visit my grandmother. She lived in the hotel a couple of doors East of your grandfather’s store. We visited Asahi shoes to see my father’s friend as well as the other stores. My Bachan was a faithful member of Nishi Honwanji Church and insisted on living on First Street. We ate every weekend at Far East Cafe.
I am so happy to continue purchasing goods from Anzen Hardware.
In fact I am going to go back and see what else to add to my crop tshirt with crane logo!
Sincerely,
Charli Kato Kimura

charlotte kimura November 23, 2020

Y’all are “Angels in disguise” for making this collaboration happen. We rarely make it to J-town these days, but when we do, we always stop by Anzen to support Takatanisan’s business. He has a little bit of this ‘n that and we leave with a bag full of stuff we had no intention of buying. Quick story, on one of our visits, my 12 year old son (now 16) was curious about the black rotary phone sitting on the counter. Takatanisan showed him how to insert your finger in the corresponding number and turn the dial. He had him call my cell and my son was so fascinated! Although it’s not my Daddy’s J-town, stores like Anzen, Fugetsudo, Bunkado, Rafu Bussan, and Mitsuru Cafe take me back to when I was a child. Thanks for doing this…

Ron O November 15, 2020

Hello

I hope this finds you well. My name is Kaelyn Maehara, Tsutomu Maehara was my grandfather. I have grown up with Anzen as a major fixture in my family’s life and legacy. I visit every time I am in LT and makes me happy everyday that it is still open and serving its community. It is so cool to hear of how the rest of the community also values my grandfather’s store. I think Grandpa would have been really pleased with this collab, and I am so excited to get to own an Anzen t-shirt. I live in England, and I was wondering if it was possible to ship internationally? If not, or if it is too expensive I can ship it to my folks in LA and work something else out- just thought I’d try to see if it was possible.

Thanks so much
Kaelyn

Kaelyn Maehara November 14, 2020

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