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 […]

Golden Week in Japan – 2015

Every country has a time of year where people take time off and relax, national holidays are used for celebration and leisure activities, and in particular in many countries you will find many businesses either close or work much reduced hours during the Christmas to New Year Period which can span up to ten days. […]

Regional Traditional Crafts to Be Exhibited during Expo Milano 2015

From METI website: Designs by Oki SATO in Combination with Traditional Craftsmen’s Techniques – Cool Japan Design Gallery – At Expo Milano 2015, the Cool Japan Design Gallery is to be established as one of the exhibitions at the Japan Pavilion, featuring traditional crafts which are created in collaboration between master craftsmen from every region […]

World heritage candidate for 2017 to be known by July

From Japan Times http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/20/national/world-heritage-candidate-for-2017-to-be-known-by-july/#.VTiZkpNG6J8 A government panel said Monday it will pick a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site candidate to promote for 2017 by the end of July. The panel has four candidates, including Jomon archaeological sites in Hokkaido, northern Tohoku and other regions, and the Sado complex of heritage mines, which are primarily gold […]

Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival – 2015

Traditionally when people think of seeing cherry blossoms in Japan they think of late March to April, however perhaps not so well known is that it is possible to enjoy the blossoming of these beautiful trees from February in the countryside. One of the most well-known places is in Kawazu, in Shizuoka prefecture where a […]

Japanese Traditions – The Story of the Monster Tengu (天狗)

Tengu is an imaginary being, a type of monster that lives deep in the mountains. It has an appearance similar to that of a human being, but it has a red face with a strange, big nose. Tengu have Jintsuriki (supernatural powers), as well as wings which allow them to fly the sky. In the […]

Japanese Crafts – Edo Sashimono, Tokyo

  A famous aspect that you can find in Buddhist temples, and furniture related to Buddhism, is the almost magical ability to make something with no nails. For example, Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) in Kyoto is a temple that was constructed in 1633 and still stands today, without a single nail used in its construction. Just as […]

Hanami in Japan – Cherry Blossoms and Sake!

By Weini Liao Hanami, also known as flower viewing, is a traditional Japanese custom. The flower here usually means sakura or cherry blossoms in English. Sakura is national flower in Japan and is regarded as the symbol of Japanese spirit: wither or die at the peak moment of one’s life. Hanami originated from the entertainment […]

Kyoto Traditional Industry Foundation – Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts

Kyoto can be said to be one of the best centres of Japanese traditions, crafts and Japanese history. Located in the centre of Japan it was the Imperial capital for a thousand years. Today it is home to thousands of religious places including temples and shrines, as well as historical monuments, and the Kyoto Museum […]

A Prince’s Trip to Japan – A Royal Visit

Last week Prince William of the UK arrived in Japan for a four day trip, and it is quite impressive what a prince can fit in his timetable during such a short time! On the first day of his Japan tour Prince William went to the Nakajima Tea House, this was built 350 years ago […]