Small shops in Tokyo's Yanesen area keep crafts alive

Nov 6, 2014

Small shops in Tokyo's Yanesen area keep crafts alive

by Linda Lombardi

Tokyo is home to many modern creations: high tech, animation, youth fashion. But in the small crafts shops crowding the area known as Yanesen, you can watch artisans preserving traditional crafts, or updating them. Yanesen, a combination of three neighborhood names — Yanaka, Nezu ...

Lacquerware's overseas journey into the arts

Jul 31, 2014

Lacquerware's overseas journey into the arts

by Matthew Larking

Rejuvenating the traditional lacquer industry was done by emulating international exposition models, and they sold well. At the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition, lacquer by Zeshin Shibata and Taishin Ikeda received progress medals.

Getting crafty in Yokohama

Jun 5, 2014

Getting crafty in Yokohama

by Magdalena Osumi

These days, stores and even markets are filled with cheap, manufactured and mass-produced products. It’s no wonder that there appears to be a bit of a rebellious demand for original handcrafted goods. This weekend, Yokohama hosts one of the biggest craft fairs in Japan, ...

How Japan crafted its modernization

Jun 4, 2014

How Japan crafted its modernization

by C.B. Liddell

When Japan ended its isolation in the mid-to-late-19th-century, it had lots of disadvantages compared to the other major powers. But one distinct advantage that its isolation had preserved was its craft industries and the skills of its craftsmen.

Fukushima disabled are crafting hit products

Mar 21, 2014

Fukushima disabled are crafting hit products

by Makoto Sekiya

People with disabilities living in Fukushima Prefecture are doing their best to promote the area by making craft goods that are proving popular both at home and overseas. Before the 2011 disasters and subsequent nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, a ...

'Hina Dolls of  the Mitsui Family'

Feb 5, 2014

'Hina Dolls of the Mitsui Family'

by Hanna Lange

In Japan, girls are traditionally given hina doll sets, which are put on display throughout the Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Festival) season in March each year. Usually, each girl of the family will receive her own set, which she keeps throughout her life. This exhibition displays ...

A crafty idea for gift shopping

Dec 12, 2013

A crafty idea for gift shopping

by Magdalena Osumi

It is likely that at least once in our lifetimes we will receive a mundane or unsuitable Christmas gift. But at some point, we’ve also probably been the worst gift giver ourselves. The nearer Christmas gets, the more we panic and the more a ...