Ki-Chu was founded in 2014 by Kumiko Jitsukawa in New York. Ki-Chu is all about creating a great dining ambience and experience. Our mission is to create a beautiful atmosphere for dining. We want to convey the importance of tableware in order to enhance the Japanese dining experience. We use traditional, beautiful ceramics and lacquerware for our exquisite dinners, so that people can touch and feel them. You will come to realize how the flavor changes as you experience the delicate touch of our finest pieces.
KUMIKO JITSUKAWA (Founder and Creative Director)
Kumiko Jitsukawa was born in Yokohama, Japan. She studied space design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, moved to New York in 2001, and studied at New York School of Interior Design. She worked at the renowned lighting design firm, L’Observatoire International. She specialized in hospitality design and has overseen various high-profile projects such as Jean-George Vongerichten's restaurant "Jean-Georges."
Before moving to New York, Kumiko studied traditional Japanese Kaiseki cuisine in Kamakura, Japan with Mrs. Hiroko Kawamura. The Kawamura family has been creating ceramics for many generations. Adjacent to their home is the kiln which once belonged to the famous ceramic artist Rosanjin Kitaoji, which the Kawamura family inherited and used to create superior ceramic pieces. Kumiko had the great benefit of not only cooking amazing meals, but also arranging them on the finest tableware.
Kichu-yo is a climbing kiln, located in Kanamura City, Japan. It once belonged to the famous ceramic artist Rosanjin Kitaoji. After Rosanjin died, the ceramic artist Kitaro Kawamura inherited the kiln by arrangement of the Zen master Daiki Tachibana of Daitokuji, which is a buddhist temple located in Kyoto. It is one of fourteen autonomous branches of the Rinzai school of Japanese zen. The Zen master named the kiln "Kichu-yo." It means “ everything is within.” It is from a passage of the Analects of Confusius.
Kawamura family has been creating the finest ceramic works there for three generations since then. Kitaro's grandson, Kifumi Kawamura, is currently making beautiful pieces at Kichu-yo.