Japanese Crafts – Hakone-Yosegi-Zaiku Marquetry

In any country a lot of crafts will develop depending on the natural resources which are available, if a village in Fukuoka has a lot of good clay then people will find a way to create beautiful pottery, if an onsen village in the north of Japan has wood and lots of visiting families, then […]

Japanese Crafts – Kaga Yuzen from Ishikawa

The little town of Kaga in Ishikawa prefecture used to be an old temple town which today is famous for not only its temples but also its onsen. In the Edo period (1603-1868) a local printer and dyer, Yuzensai Miyazaki, worked on creating beautiful silk cloth with patterns and managed to perfect what became known […]

Japanese Crafts – Yamaga-toro Lanterns

Yamaga-toro are lanterns manufactured in Yamaga City in Kumamoto Prefecture. They are made using only Japanese paper and glue to create a three-dimensional object. The manufacturing technique has been passed down from the end of the Muromachi period, which is applied not only to conventional votive offerings but also to decorative figures, gifts or souvenirs, […]

Japanese Crafts – Nambu Ironware

In the area around Morioka in Iwate Prefecture people used to have a different name for this location, it  was known as Nambu in the Edo period (1603-1868). In Nambu traditional ironware was produced in two areas, today they are known as Morioka City and in Mizusawa City in the south. It is believed that […]

Traditional Crafts Exhibition WAZA 2015: Take Home the Heart of Japan

Taken from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s website (経済産業省). Traditional Crafts Exhibition WAZA 2015 to be Held–Take Home the Heart of Japan– From February 19 to 24, 2015, the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries (DENSAN) will hold the Traditional Crafts Exhibition WAZA 2015, focusing on the theme, “Take Home the […]

Interview with Mari Ishikawa – German Based Artist and Artisan

Please introduce yourself and your background. Why did you move to Germany? I am a Jewellery and photograph artist in Munich, Germany. I was born in Kyoto. I studied art education in Japan. I worked at first as an interior architect and designer. In 1994 I came to Munich and enrolled in Professor Otto Künzli’s […]

Satsuma Comb – A Traditional Craft created by Samurai Warriors

By Mike Sullivan When you ask someone to name a Japanese craft then you will get a variety of answers, but I would be very surprised if someone mentioned combs, or even the Satsuma comb! It isn’t something you would think of as a traditional craft, of course everyone has hair and it makes sense […]

Satsuma Pottery – A Collector’s Item

By Mike Sullivan Satsuma pottery has a rather unusual history due to the fact that there are two distinctive strands, one which was made for domestic use and one which was specifically made to be exported. The reason that there is such a different between these two different types of the same craft is that […]

An Interview with Mizuyo Yamashita – Ceramic Designer

Please introduce yourself and your background. My name is Mizuyo Yamashita. I came to the UK in 2000 to study English and I started working in pottery as a hobby. Now I have a studio in East London. I was born and grew up in a big family of 7 including 2 brothers. My father […]

An Interview with Yukari Sato Washi Paper Artist

By Saneyuki Owada, translation by Mike Sullivan. Please tell us about your background and how you became involved in washi paper? I was born in Kochi, a city surrounded by the sea and mountains, and I lived there until I was 6 years old. After that I moved to Ikazaki in Ehime Prefecture. In the […]

Interview with Tamaki Matsuda – Amazing Lacquer Artisan in Tokyo

Interview by Saneyuki Owada. Please tell us about the beginning of your life. When I was born I my heart wasn’t beating and I wasn’t breathing – it wasn’t exactly an ideal start! My parents were both working as teachers, so I ended up being in childcare soon after I was born. How did you […]

Jewelry Stand by Shirokane – Present your Jewelry the Way you Want

By Saneyuki Owada. What is Takata Lemnos? Takata Seisakusho as known as Takata Lemnos in Europe is one of the most successful metal casting companies in Takaoka, featuring a wide variety of finely-designed products. Although the founder of the company, Takeru Takata, was not a native of Takaoka, his devastating experience from World War II […]

Japanese Interior Kite – Once Connected People with Gods

By Saneyuki Owada Japanese Interior Kite History of Kites Flying high in skies around the world, kites have connected humans with the celestial dome since ancient times. Throughout history, they’ve served many purposes: as military tools, as instruments that revealed the electrical property of lightning, and as prototypes for the very first aircraft. Today, they’re […]