Interview with Masanori Gataguchi – Handcrafted Watch Artisan

Interview and translation by Mike Sullivan. Please introduce yourself and your background. My name is Masanori Gataguchi and my company is called “GaTa” watch smith. Please tell us about your work. I make handcrafted watches. I use the technology of engraving, in particular for watch cases, but actually as much as possible I try to […]

Interview with Mariko Sumioka – Jewelry Artisan and Metalworker making Incredibly Detailed Items

Please introduce yourself and your background. I am a contemporary art jewellery artist. I was born in Japan, in a city in Aichi Prefecture, However I have lived in Osaka for the longest period in my life, around 9 years. Our family moved often, every 3-4 years, due to my father’s job. We also lived […]

Interview with Yoko Yamada – Watch Artisan in Tokyo

Translation by Saneyuki Owada. Please introduce yourself and your background. My name is Yoko Yamada, I am making hand crafted watches at my own brand “Ipsilon”. I first entered this handcraft world when I was student and I was studying metal carving at jewelry art school. After I finished school I went abroad to study […]

Interview with Kaori Tatebayashi – Japanese Ceramic Artisan in the UK

Photo by Ben Boswell By Mike Sullivan Please introduce yourself and your background. I was born in a small village called Arita in Japan, noted for its fine porcelain. My Grandfather had a wholesale shop and would travel around Japan with samples in order to take orders for ceramic products. Ever since I can remember, […]

Interview with Reiko Kaneko – Ceramic Designer educated at Central St Martins London

By Mike Sullivan Reiko Kaneko graduated from Central St Martins, University of Arts London, previously she worked in East London for a number of years but last year she made the move to Stoke-on-Trent in order to be closer to the manufacturers of Fine Bone China. There are around 7,000 people working in the pottery […]

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at the Japanstore.jp magazine, we only set up our magazine a short while ago and it has been an amazing experience until now. As such we really hope all of our readers have enjoyed reading our […]

Interview with Akihiro Mori – Woodworker Artisan from Aichi Prefecture

Translation by Saneyuki Owada Akihiro Mori is a fairly well known woodworker based in Aichi, between Tokyo and Osaka. His studio was opened in 1997 and a lot of his furniture uses solid wood oak which is joined together without the use of nails or screws. He was originally born in Gifu and graduated from […]

Interview with Hiroko Nakajima – Knitwear Designer educated in London

By Mike Sullivan Hiroko Nakajima is originally from Tokyo and has been educated in London with a BA and a MA from Central Saint Martins University in central London. For several years now she has been presenting amazing collections which need to be seen as they simply can’t be described. In 2012 she had a […]

Gosho Ningyo Dolls (Palace Dolls) – 1200 years of Japanese History

By Itske Stern, edited by Michael Sullivan Gosho ningyo [御所人形] or palace dolls, have been around since the Heian era (794-1192). They were used to celebrate many events, such as the birth of first born sons and other events that were important. Starting in the eighteenth century, the Imperial Court of Kyoto gave these dolls […]

Interview with Aya Inoue – Kichijitsu Brand Designer

By Saneyuki Owada, edited by Mike Sullivan The Omamori Pokke is a clever twist on the traditional Japanese Omamori amulet, it is just one of the products that have appeared under the direction of the Kichijitsu designer, Aya Inoue. She studied at Tokyo Zokei University, which consists of two schools, Design and Fine Arts, and […]

Kokeshi Dolls – Naruko Style

By Mike Sullivan Beautiful Kokeshi dolls have been around for hundreds of years, originally they were made for children to play with but now they have become an adored collector’s item. They first started making dolls in the north of Japan in the seventeenth century; in places like Miyagi prefecture there are beautiful mountains with […]

Interview with Midori Takaki – Unique Ceramics Artisan

By Mike Sullivan This week we have been very lucky to have been able to interview a very talented artist based in the UK. Originally she came to the UK to study Social Anthropology, however since taking up ceramics in 2008 she has become quite well known for her fascinating work involving animals, masks, doll […]