WAZA was established in 2014 in Cape Town as a specialist importer of quality Japanese household goods to South Africa. We are a husband and wife team with a big love for Japan, and we work directly with Japanese suppliers, family businesses and business partners to source and import a range of products. The idea for WAZA begun to germinate after our first visit to Japan during New Year 2005. Some more visits followed and the online shop was launched in July 2016. We also trade at premium markets and pop-up events in and around Cape Town, and supply selected stock to hand-picked South African retailers. We are inspired by the beautiful, yet functional daily-use items in Japanese households and businesses, and we aim to bring this small part of Japan to South Africa.
The meaning of WAZA
"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. You will find "wa" in many places and words - from traditional Japanese paper: “washi” (和紙), to Japanese cuisine: “washoku” (和食), to peace negotiations: “wagi” (和議). The kanji is also used in our company logo.
WAZA brings this Japanese approach (WA) to South Africa (ZA) - "where WA meets ZA."
It also references the other meaning of the Japanese word "waza," which, when written as 技 means "technique" or "skill." We focus on a few select product ranges of Japanese household goods that showcase skill and meet our criteria of:
- innovative design;
- quality craftsmanship;
- aesthetic pleasure, and
- durability for lifelong use.
We carefully source items for everyday use in and around the house, across five product categories that represent different spheres of contemporary home life: MAKE | WORK | GROW | COOK | EAT.
We are constantly expanding our supplier and 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