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Wunderkammer Wonderland

July 20, 2015
Pass the Baton
There are certain things – Suntory’s Hakushu whisky, fermented funazushi from Shiga Prefecture and George Clooney among them – that only improve with age. While we can’t promise that you’ll find any of these at Tokyo’s Pass the Baton, you are certain to discover some fine vintage lovelies, from antiques and furny to clothing and art.

Founded by former Mitsubishi man Masamichi Toyama and designed by Masamichi Katayama of Wallpaper Inc., the boutique is a self-styled ‘modern recycle shop’. The idea behind which is to create a meaningful exchange as valued objects change hands – passing the baton, so to speak.

While this might sound like clever PR spin, it’s not. Every pre-loved item is accompanied by a photograph of its previous proprietor and a handwritten anecdote explaining why it has been so treasured. Patrons are encouraged to pen a short reply upon purchase, thus completing the connection.

What’s more, these enviable artefacts weren’t found in the dusty old attic of an obasan. The lion’s share of what’s on offer was hitherto in the possession of prominent personalities, including singer Maki Nomiya and A Bathing Ape founder Nigo, who donates so frequently he now has his own section in the store.

Toyama also upcycles discontinued or defective stock from various Japanese companies, and has transformed ‘flawed’ pieces from Hario Glass Factory – forced to close after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami – into beautiful body baubles. Now, how’s that for breathing new life into tired, old tricks?

Omotesando Hills West / 4-12-10 Jingumae / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 6447 0707 / 11:00 am-9:00 pm Mon-Sat, 11:00 am-8:00 pm Sun /