• The Japan Times Cube


The Japan Times Cube Inc. (representative director: Minako Suematsu) will act as a media sponsor for JapanCraft21, which strives to pass on traditional Japanese culture to future generations and introduce its beauty and technology both domestically and internationally.

JapanCraft21 is an organization established in 2018 by foreign residents and Japanese nationals who are keenly aware that their encounters with Japanese craft culture have enriched their lives. Since now is the time to stop the decline of Japanese traditional craft culture, JapanCraft21 is conducting different activities, including holding Sunday carpentry classes in order to revitalize Kyoto’s traditional Kyo-machiya houses.

The contest will be held in partnership with co-sponsor Asia Society of Japan, which was established by John D. Rockefeller III in 1956. JapanCraft21 is looking for ideas on projects that can open up the future of crafts proposed by craftsmen, artists, writers, designers, product planners and others involved in traditional Japanese craft techniques. All types of crafts are accepted.

<Overview of the Japan Traditional Craft Revitalization Contest>

◾︎ Required criteria:

  • Japanese traditional craft
  • Functionality
  • Expressing Japanese aesthetics
  • Encouraging creation of meaningful jobs for craftspeople
  • Clear and feasible project outcome and vision
  • Residing in Japan and with a proficiency level of Japanese language

◾ ︎Awards:
【The Ronnie Prize】  1 winner
Prize details: ¥5 million for funding the winner’s craft revitalization project plus one year of support from professional experts in fields such as business, design, product development and marketing.

【Craft Leader Awards】 10 winners
Prize details: ¥5 million will be set up to realize the projects of 10 winners, including the Ronnie Prize winner. This will be used for holding group exhibitions and regular peer support meetings (every three months) and creating web pages for each winner in English and Japanese. (Note that the content of the prize details is based on the 2021 achievements of the winners and is subject to change.)

◾ ︎Judges (alphabetical order):

Yuji Akimoto: Art critic, chief executive director at Nerima Art Museum

Keiko Aono: Owner of Ippodo Gallery in Tokyo and Ippodo Gallery, New York

Shihoko Fukumoto: Textile artist specializing in aizome indigo dyeing

Eriko Horiki: Washi paper designer, director of Eriko Horiki and Associates

Tsutomu Horiuchi: Co-chair of the Arts Committee at Asia Society Japan Center, deputy director and professor at Center for Social Investment of Tama University

Sawako Kaijima: Designer and assistant professor of architecture at Harvard University

Reiko Sudo: Textile designer; founder, director and chief designer of Nuno Corp.; professor emeritus at Tokyo Zokei University

Please visit www.japancraft21.com for more information on the screening method and other details.

◾︎Application period
March 15 to April 20, 2022 (6 p.m. JST)

◾︎How to apply
Online only: Please use the application form at https://www.japancraft21.com/ja/contest-2022

◾︎Application fee
¥2,000 per application (submit within one day after applying)
Payment methods:
a. Square (see application form at www.japancraft21.com) or
b. Domestic bank transfer (bank details also on the website)

◾︎Announcements of results
Aug. 15, 2022: Announcement of the 10 finalists (Craft Leaders)
Sept. 15, 2022: Announcement of the first-place winner (Ronnie Prize)

Hosted by: JapanCraft21

Website: https://www.japancraft21.com

Co-sponsored by: Asia Society Japan Center
International House 1F, 5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Inquiries: JapanCraft21
164-7 Ichihara-machi, Shizuka-shi, Kyoto
Founding Director Steve Beimel
Executive Director/Contest Coordinator Keiko Kamei

◆ About The Japan Times
Established in 1897 (Meiji 30), The Japan Times has the longest history of any English-language newspaper in Japan. Its website was first introduced in 1996. Now using social media as well, we strive to spread information about Japan and its future to the world. Our readers consider us a reliable source of information about Japan. This includes not only foreign residents in Japan, but also government officials, think tanks and media around the world. For historical research about Japan and Asia, we use archives from universities and public libraries both in Japan and abroad.

The Japan Times Cube Inc.
<Press release inquiries>
Public relations: Ms. Kumano
Email: pr@japantimes.co.jp

The press release may be downloaded in PDF format