WAZA was established in 2015 in Cape Town as a specialist purveyor of quality Japanese household goods in South Africa. We are Botha and Hilda Kruger, a husband and wife team with a big love for Japan, and we work directly with Japanese business partners and family businesses to source and import a unique range of products for everyday use in and around the house, across five product categories: MAKE | WORK | GROW | COOK | EAT.
The idea for WAZA began to germinate after our first visit to Tokyo for New Year 2005. Some more visits followed and upon every return home we regretted not being able to bring back more of the quality household goods we encountered in Japan. Our friends and family confirmed they also had a need for beautiful, yet functional products that last, so we decided to put our passion to practical use. In July 2016 we launched the online shop, to bring a small part of Japan to South Africa, which is also reflected in our name – WAZA – "where WA meets ZA."
"WAZA" is a word play on both the Japanese kanji "wa"(和) and "waza" (技). The Japanese kanji “wa” (和) embodies the concept of intrinsic Japaneseness, which is traced back to AD604 and is most often translated as harmony/peace. It describes not only things that are uniquely Japanese, but also an approach to life.
The Japanese word "waza," which, when written as 技 means "technique" or "skill." The products we sell all showcase some element of skill, whether through traditional craftsmanship, or through the application of contemporary innovations to traditional designs. We are particularly inspired by the Japanese approach of "monozukuri" (ものづくり), a concept that translates as the "art, science and craft of making things" and which is exemplified in small business manufacturing.
Apart from the online shop, we also trade at the JPN Concept Store in Salt River, Cape Town, and sometimes pop up at events and premium markets.
We also source and supply specialised products for retailers and restaurants, and offer wholesale prices on some products.
We are continuously researching new product ideas and expanding our product range and also do custom orders where possible. If you are searching for something from Japan that we do not stock, feel free to contact us with your request.
Botha and Hilda Kruger - Team WAZA
Image courtesy Elle Decoration