Sophistication is duo’s craft


Special To The Japan Times

While the phrase “Cool Japan” seems to only get used for things that are kawaii (cute) and technologically forward, people tend to overlook the cool in handcrafted products.

On Sept. 15, the self-described design and sewing duo 38_works will present the 22nd edition of Tedzukuri no Ichi (handicrafts market) at Domyoji Tenmangu Shrine in Osaka. 38_works (pronounced “miyai works”) — married couple Takahiro and Misaki Miyai — handle photography, clothes work and graphic design.

Around 40 stores at the market will showcase their respective specialities. From organic vegetables to original furniture and pottery, there’s a certain sense of freshness in the lineup. One store that should not be missed is Coji, whose speciality is handmade accessories made from materials collected from countries such as India, Morocco and Thailand.

Also, in an interesting effort to re-use old items, one store will accept donations of old picture books, so they can be repaired and sold to new owners.

The organizers put emphasis on forging a flexible and prosperous atmosphere at the markets, which means they actively seek out and personally select the majority of exhibitors. With regards to curating, 38_works write on their website, “We would rather stop than compromise.”

The Miyais say the idea for the event came up after they found that many of the products they encountered at handicraft events they went to were too cutesy. They then set out to create a marketplace to cater to people who are interested in more sophisticated items.

While Tedzukuri no Ichi is usually held four times a year, the Miyais say they will take a one-year break after this weekend’s event.

Tedzukuri no Ichi takes place at Domyoji Tenmangu Shrine in Fujidera, Osaka, on Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.tedukurinoichi.com.