The extreme clarity, strength and beauty of Toyo-Sasaki Glass.

Newtown House is a bit of a secret find we’ve been sharing with friends. We brought 12 of the HS tumblers after fruitlessly looking for just the right gin glass. I was a little sceptical – thinking these would not be quite up to scratch. How wrong was I! These tumblers ooze quiet sophistication and are a joy to swirl ice cubes in, and drink out of. Over the summer we have had countless people through our house and these tumblers just keep giving – from kids taking a fresh glass each time they look for water, cordial or a soft drink, to adults quietly contemplating the sunset with tumbler in hand. And the best news – no breakages (hoping this is not the commentators curse…). Amy and Nick provide a fabulous service and the stories associated with each product provide great talking points. You will not be disappointed. Tim, Wairarapa.

Toyo-Sasaki Glass

The Toyo-Sasaki Glass production facility is in Yachiyo, which is located in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo. They make both hand-made and machine produced items including tableware, glassware and custom designs.

The 2002 merger of Toyo Glass and Sasaki Glass bought together two Japanese glass making powerhouses, both tracing their roots back to the beginning of the industry. 

Magoichi Shimada. Sitting left. Source: TSG

On the Toyo side life began in 1878, when Magoichi Shimada started his career as a trainee in the Shinagawa Glassworks that had been established by the  Meiji government  to pioneer Japan's domestic glassware industry. It had a troubled history with many failures and reinventions, but it was a valuable training ground for many successful entrepreneurs.  In his time there Shimada studied under Brit James Speed - one of the influential British and Venetian craftsmen brought to the country to help. A decade later he founded Shimada Glass in the village of Kawasaki, Osaka. Using the latest European glassblowing techniques, the company produced glass tableware and lamps.

Sasaki Glass Shop Source: TSG

Sasaki Glass was a bit later to the party. Their founder Sojiro Sasaki was originally a retailer who set up his own glass shop in Kanda, Tokyo in 1902. He built his business on wholesaling oil lamps, a major product at the dawn of Japan's domestic glass industry. In the following year, Sasaki's glass shop began to export lamps to Hawaii, China, and Southeast Asia. The company also expanded its sales channels and created a nationwide wholesale network in Japan. Around 1917 he started his own factory and continual innovation and importing of the latest technologies kept Sasaki at the forefront of manufacturing techniques in Japan.

This led to the 1967 introduction of the now famous HS rim-toughened glassware that is a favourite for the hospitality and food service industries because of their simple elegance and hardwearing robustness. In 2007, total sales of HS products were over 700 million.

TSG's hand-made glassware production is guided by Certified Traditional Japanese Craftmasters, a prestigious prefectural title for artisans who have attained the highest level of skill and knowledge on traditional Japanese regional heritage crafts. Source: TSG

We are stocking both a selection of the Crane Cookware x TSG collaboration and ranges we have sourced directly from TSG ourselves.