Recently we got the chance to chat with the manager at Taimado, a store located in Shimokitazawa that champions the history and culture surrounding marijuana in Japan. After a lighthearted but informative conversation we discovered a lot about the long history of marijuana in Japan and how the hemp plant is actually deeply rooted in Japanese culture and society.
Taimado is one of Tokyo’s most established hemp shops and has been meeting the needs of the Tokyo cannabis community for over 20 years. They sell super comfortable and durable Japanese jinbei, traditionally made from hemp, hand-made glass pipes, clothing, accessories and other paraphernalia.
What an interesting shape
They also stock a range of T-shirts and artwork from acclaimed artist Shohei Otomo. The name might not ring any bells immediately but he is the son of Japanese manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo who was the artist behind the cult anime classic Akira. His distinct and stylized work can be found all over the internet but his T-shirt prints and goods are hard to come by, making Taimado more then just your average head shop.
There is also a large selection of bongs, water pipes and a range of other smoking accessories that are all handmade locally. Some of the pipes were even showcased in the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. The sheer range of sizes and shapes should keep most people amused, from tidy little glass handmade pipes to more elaborate shisha pipes and bongs.
These pipes are more successful than you
The owner’s vision is to interweave beauty and style with the ideas surrounding marijuana. Even if you’re not a hardcore smoker this store has enough beyond the usual paraphernalia to keep you interested. So if you’re looking for a place that is real and respected among those involved in Japanese cannabis culture, stop into Taimado and bask in the beauty.
Someone made these with MOLTEN GLASS. What did you accomplish today?
Know the Law
Japan is one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to marijuana laws. The Japanese government treats marijuana as seriously as cocaine and other hard drugs. In fact, drugs like heroin and cocaine are actually often cheaper to purchase than marijuana in Japan. The punishment for possession can result in jail time of up to 5 years.
The stigma began after World War II when the United States occupied Japan. At that time, cannabis laws were super strict in the States, so the U.S. applied these laws to Japan. Today, attitudes on marijuana have changed a lot in the States, but Japan has remained just as strict.
Japanese jinbei – historically made from hemp
The red gate at the entrance to many Japanese shrines is called a torii. Hanging from the gate is usually a twisted rope made from hemp. Before 1945, hemp was a major agricultural crop which was grown year round. It was actually as common as rice, and its uses were far-reaching. Clothes were woven from hemp, and its oil was used as fuel. The plant is actually more deeply rooted in Japanese culture than most people imagine.
We have tonnes more photos of Taimado up on our Instagram – so check it out!