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 […]

Japanese Crafts – Hakata dolls

By Mike Sullivan Dolls have always been a favourite creation of Japanese craftspeople, whether it is the relatively simple Kokeshi dolls from the Onsen towns of north Japan, Gosho dolls from Kyoto in central Japan or Hakata dolls from Fukuoka in the south of the country. Each kind of doll has its own particular beauty […]

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 […]

油布宙 – 竹細工 (Interview in Japanese)

自己紹介をお願いします。 My name is Hiroshi yufu! Bamboo art. 油布さんのお仕事についてお聞かせ下さい。 叔父や祖父の時代から油布家では竹細工を営んでいた。父親が油布 昌伯の名前で海外へも販売のパイプを作った。私は4年ほど前から竹細工の学校や様々な先輩方に技法を教わり父親の油布竹龍舎の手伝いや個人ではウェブや先輩方とともにデパート等へ作品を出し販売している。(竹製のバックやお皿等)今年はニューメキシコのギャラリーで先輩の方々とともにセンターピースの販売に取り組む予定。今年はオブジェをメインに海外での販路に取り組む。 どのようにその作品をスタートしましたか? 竹の組合いの青年部が海外に販路を持ちたい意向を竹製品を多く扱うニューメキシコのタイギャラリーの協力のもと作成。海外ではどういった嗜好の物が好まれるのか?等指導して頂いた。 竹の作品のアイディアは、どこから来ていますか? 影響を受けるのは自然から、宇宙から、人の動きから。 どのよう発想をして竹の作品のデザインに落とし込みますか? 竹の素材が生かせるように動きを持たせる。固い中での柔軟さ(竹そのもののしなり?)デザインが全てではなく作成途中で竹のしなりを出したくなれば変えて行く。竹の素材が自然に形を作る。 デザインにどのくらいかかりましたか?そして、竹の製作期間をお知らせ下さい。 オブジェは2週間以上かかる。 竹はどこから来ますか? 竹の販売する業者に依頼している。 油布さんの中で、どのくらい日本的要素を取り入れて仕事に取り組んでいますか?そして、どのように日々、日本についてのインスピレーションを取り入れていますか? やはり素材が竹だとわかる商品でなければ日本は感じられないでしょう。そして色は主に朱、黄、黒であるが日本古来から日本人の好む色であり漆塗装は日本の代表的な塗装技術である。 油布さんにとって日本の伝統工芸とは? オブジェが現代に合わせた物であっても先人が残した技法を使うことにより先人とともに現代に生きる事ができる。先生方も必死に取り組んでいる。病院での輸血の様にそれぞれの得意とする技法を後継者育成事業としてわれわれ若手に教えてくれている。 いつか同じように伝えたいと思う。 何かのお知らせや、油布さん個人のイベントなどありますか? 私Hiroshi Yufuですが今年はニューメキシコのタイギャラリーでセンターピースの販売をメインに活動。 最後に日本の工芸に興味のある海外の方に一言お願いします。 竹の使用の歴史は木と同じく古来からあり多種多様になります。物入れやお皿等の実用品やバッグ、アクセサリーそしてオブジェまで様々です。竹細工製品を楽しまれて下さい。

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 […]

President Kennedy’s Hina Dolls? U.S. Ambassador Traces Japanese Woman Who Sent Them

Recently reported in the Japan Times. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy was given a set of Hina Dolls, now over 50 years later U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has traced the woman who sent them. The below story is as reported by Japan Times: Kennedy appealed for help in finding the sender of the dolls, […]

Interview with Akiko Hirai – UK based Craftswoman

By Mike Sullivan Please introduce yourself and your background. I make pottery in the UK, in London. I hold workshops in studios where artists work together, which isn’t that rare here. http://www.akikohiraiceramics.com/ AKIKO HIRAI from Dan Fontanelli on Vimeo. Please tell us about your work. I make ceramics for exhibitions and galleries in the UK […]

Interview with Keiko Masumoto – Ceramic Designer

By Weini Liao Please introduce yourself My name is Keiko Masumoto. I was born in Tatsuno, Hyogo, in 1982. I graduated from the faculty and master of fine arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. I worked in Kyoto for about 10 years, after Kyoto, I worked as a guest artist at the University of the […]

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 […]

Yukinori Jinnohara – Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Doll Artisan

By Saneyuki Owada Yukinori Jinnohara 陣野原幸紀 One of the best Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Artisans     A Tsuchiyu Kokeshi doll maker, and also president of the Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Association. He has received many prizes from Japan Kokeshi dolls contests which have been held in Shiroishi city in Miyagi-prefecture every May since 1959 and other competitions such […]