The Kagami Crystal Glass Factory is the oldest crystal glass factory in Japan, established by Kozo Kagami in 1934 in Ryugasaki City, Ibaraki Prefecture. With over 70 years of history and crystal glass making experience, the Kagami Crystal Company has developed unique hand glassblowing, cutting, and engraving techniques that their artisans employ to produce delicate and beautiful pieces that can only be described as works of art. Kagami Crystal produce both clear and coloured glassware.
Kozo Kagami studied crystal glass making in Germany, and after returning to Japan and establishing Kagami Crystal he continued to work on perfecting his technique. His skills have been recognized with a number of awards. In 1943, Kagami Crystal was commissioned by the Imperial family to make glassware to mark the marriage of Princess Shigeko, eldest daughter of Emperor Hirohito. Since then Kagami Crystal has received a number of commissions from the Imperial family. Kagami Crystal glassware is now also used in Japanese Embassies all around the globe. The variety of glassware Kagami Crystal produces also includes specially commissioned bottles for perfume and luxury liquor.
Kagami Crystal houses a number of artisans who practice Edo Kiriko, a glass cutting technique that originated toward the end of the Edo period (1603-1868). They have been designated as masters of Japanese traditional crafts, a certification issued by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. These artisans blend the traditional patterns of Edo Kiriko with more modernised designs, producing enchanting and unique cut glassware.
Kagami Crystal offers free guided tours of their factory on weekdays, for groups consisting of 5-60 people. For safety reasons, you must be of at least 20 years of age to participate in the tour. Tours must be booked in advance, and are offered in Japanese only. Kagami Crystal has three stores in Japan; their main store at the factory in Ryugasaki, and a store each in Tokyo and Osaka. The spectacular range of Kagami Crystal glassware can also be purchased at a number of specialty stores around the country, the full list of which can be found on their website, www.kagami.jp.