The Game-Changing Japanese Home Organization Brand You’ve Never Heard Of — Until Now

published May 19, 2023
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I use my kitchen more than any other room in my home. Throughout the day, I am constantly cleaning, putting dishes away, making snacks, organizing my cabinets, or preparing my dog’s meals. Because of the constant commotion in my kitchen, I’m always looking for solutions that make it easier to keep it clean and organized. During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, when I was using my kitchen at an even higher degree than I do now, I discovered Yamazaki Home

With over 300,000 followers on Instagram, hundreds of thousands of five-star reviews on their website and across selected retailers, and dozens of features with renowned publications, Yamazaki Home products are frequently praised for their minimal-yet-sophisticated design and excellent functionality. For me, these products have been essential in not only beautifying my kitchen, but also making it a neat and practical space. 

Since then, I have purchased nine products (including a helpful magnetic rack and my favorite rolling cart) from the Japanese brand that has turned into a cult favorite that primarily garnered its following online and via social media. They make products for all over the home — from under your kitchen cabinets, to the side of your washing machine, to your jewelry collection. They especially focus on creating sleek, compact products that solve common storage issues you might not have ever even considered (cookbook stand, anyone?).

I had only seen a few select Yamazaki Home items at stores like West Elm and The Container Store, so I decided to find out what makes this brand so exclusive, beloved, and, above all — functional. 

To get the inside scoop on how the brand innovates so many hard-working products, I reached out to Masao Donahue, Yamazaki’s e-commerce marketing manager, and Zack Blackwell, media partnership coordinator — who both believe people love their products because of the brand’s philosophy of making your home tidy and beautiful while embracing minimalism. What is now a household name in Japan, Yamazaki started 100 years ago as an ironing board manufacturer when Japan began adopting more Western-style clothing. 

The idea for expansion first came to fourth-generation CEO Shigeru Yamazaki 25 years ago as he rode the bullet train through Japan and thought how every house he passed should have at least one Yamazaki product in their home. Today, the brand has more than 4,000 products for sale in Japan, and about 600 in the U.S. 

Donahue believes that Yamazaki Home products are just as successful in Japan as they are in the U.S. and some parts of Europe because of the growing desire to add aesthetic appeal to organization and storage. While Yamazaki’s in-house design space is based in Japan, Donahue explains that they take North American habits and customs into consideration for certain products. “We tweak and accommodate certain products to better fit the North American home,” he says. “For example, larger-sized paper towels, toilet paper rolls, and coffee filters are common in the U.S., so we adjust as we release things into the market and get customer feedback.”

As far as design, Blackwell says that part of the allure of Yamazaki Home is the ease of the products’ clean and simple look that can fit in with just about any style, from mid-century modern, to farmhouse, to industrial. Essentially, these products don’t just perform well, but they also look good sitting on your counter.

“Small-space living is synonymous with Japan, and that is ultimately what Yamazaki is inspired by,” he says. “We all need essentials, but with fresh ideas, innovation, and beautiful design.”

If you’ve never heard of Yamazaki Home, or have only seen their products at a couple of retailers, Donahue says there’s a reason for that. “The only places you can find our complete assortment is our online store or Amazon,” he says. “Exclusivity is very important to us to maintain the products’ integrity and quality.”

With hundreds of products to choose from for nearly every room in your home, I sometimes find it difficult to narrow down the best and most useful Yamazaki Home picks to try out. If you’re like me, you may want to start with the Tosca dish rack. The flagship product not only put them on the map, but Donahue and Blackwell agree that it is also one of the company’s best examples in showcasing the intersection of functionality and design — especially within the kitchen. The lid and ladle stand and stackable countertop shelves also sit atop their bestsellers list. 

Minimalism and decluttering usually go hand-in-hand, but Donahue believes that Yamazaki Home does an excellent job at separating both concepts. “We have so many magnetic options because it makes it easier to keep everyday essentials within arm’s reach,” he says. “We don’t want to encourage people to get rid of things if they don’t need to — we just want to show that you can make space where there wasn’t any before while staying organized.”

The nine Yamazaki Home products I have are still in frequent rotation throughout my home. I am especially impressed by how well these products have held up over the years, especially my mini Goldendoodle’s pet bowl that’s super easy to clean, a convenient and chic butter dish, and this stackable countertop shelf that stores all my matcha essentials and a large ceramic canister of coffee beans. Even if you’re not looking to fill your home with more storage and organization solutions, Yamazaki also offers plenty of home decor, like a modern steel and wood wall clock and charming bookends

Whatever you’re in the market for, Yamazaki Home products will deliver the perfect combination of design and functionality. Each day as I walk through my home, I’m reminded that sometimes tricky problems are simply asking for smart solutions.

Shop: Yamazaki Home