KOBO Seattle | since 1995

KOBO Turns 25 Years Old

November 19, 2020

KOBO Seattle 25th Anniversary

In the Fall of 1995, after moving back to Seattle from Tokyo, Binko and John Bisbee opened up a gallery and shop called KOBO in the Historic Loveless Building, on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. Sandwiched between, Harvard Espresso, and an empty space that was once occupied by the florist Beall's Roses, they featured Japanese crafted objects and art, then later invited Pacific Northwest and Japanese artists to show in their tiny space. It was a little jewel box with interesting pieces in every nook and cranny. They moved into the empty corner space and blossomed into an artist gallery, gift shop, and a Seattle destination. 

In 2004, they had an opportunity to open a second location in the old Higo Variety Store in the International District. With six year-old daughter Aya to bless the new adventure, they would go on to create a place where the community could shop for a unique find, view art and come for events in the repurposed space as it reopened as KOBO two honoring the Japanese business that was there before them.

Today, in the midst of a pandemic, they look to the future, being here for people who have been there for them, while building new relationships and friendships.

Read more about Binko, John, and KOBO, here.