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Check out where it's from!

Antique Otomo Weighing Scales

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One of a Kind!

Destination: Kanazawa, Japan

This antique wooden scale was probably used by an apothecary to weigh medicinal herbs and the like. Found at the morning market in the fishing village of Wajima, we named it after Ōtomo no Yakamochi, an 8th century poet and statesman, who was at one time the governor of the region. During his tenure, Yakamochi wrote many a lyrical lament about how lonely he was out on the lovely, yet isolated Noto Peninsula. We think his poems and this compact scale have a certain aesthetic in common, known in Japan as wabi-sabi.


Wabi-sabi is the marriage of two old aesthetic ideals: wabi, which connotes a kind of rustic, simplicity, and sabi, which celebrates the “bloom of time.” Leonard Koren, who wrote a whole book about it,... Read More

Details and Dimensions

10" long. Carrying case slides open to reveal a bamboo or bone measuring stick with attached scale and balance weight. The scale shows appropriate wear and tear for its age and one of the threads attaching the scale to the measuring is broken 

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