Maison & Objet, a biannual design fair held in Paris in January and September, is now such a popular event that it is often nicknamed the Paris Fashion Week of the interior design industry. Though smaller in scale compared to other prominent trade fairs, its focus on interior decoration, lifestyle and home accessories has made it an attractive venue for both niche and major Japanese brands to debut products to a discerning global market.

On: Design looks at three exhibitors from last month’s Maison & Objet that showcased new items inspired by the past and traditional crafts.

Osaka-based Nakajima Jukyudo, a company that has been making pencil sharpeners since the 1940s, won a Good Design Award in 2015 for its NJK-brand Tsunago, a sharpener with extra blade units that could whittle pencil stubs into attachable extensions for other pencils. In 2020, the company also won an iF design award for its Double Blade Pencil Sharpener, designed to turn sharpening into an aesthetic experience by producing two unfurling spirals of shavings.