Tag - crafts



Sanuki Kagari Temari sold at a store in Haneda Airport
Jul 2, 2024
Traditional Japanese crafts catching on among tourists at Haneda Airport
Their delicate craftsmanship and colors are attracting many foreign visitors to a specialty store at an airport in Tokyo.
The Oku knife "hooks or wraps elegantly along the edge of a plate or board," designer Kathleen Reilly says.
LIFE / Style & Design
Jun 22, 2024
A playfully subversive knife from a rising Scottish design star
The Scottish artist fuses East and West in a new knife design crafted in and inspired by Niigata Prefecture’s Tsubame-Sanjo.
Isamitsu Knives makes their blades in large batches to optimize the use of both the resources at its disposal and its small team of three smiths.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 16, 2024
‘A good knife is not only about the steel’
Founded in 2022, the knife-making process at Isamitsu Knives differs from industrial manufacturers in small but significant ways.
The colored patterns of Tsuguru "nuri," made in Aomori Prefecture, are achieved by applying multiple coatings of lacquer, which are later polished down to reveal layers of colors beneath.
LIFE / Style & Design / ON: DESIGN
May 18, 2024
A new initiative rethinks old Tohoku crafts
Described as “collector's items,” the works are being kept under wraps until their debut at a May 24-25 exhibition at Kudan House in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.
The Kioke Summit on Shodoshima has seen a steady rise in participants from dozens in its early days 12 years ago and about 100 in 2019 to more than 600 this past February.
LIFE / Food & Drink
May 8, 2024
On Japan’s island of olives, age-old shoyu secrets survive
Each Kioke Summit features many activities including a "kioke" auction — shoyu fermentation barrels that fetch anywhere from ¥60,000 to ¥450,000.
Artist Mitsuo Miyagi talks about the plan to make a giant shiisā statue in Okinawa Prefecture using damaged tiles from the fire-ravaged Shuri Castle.
May 2, 2024
10-meter lion statue to be built in Okinawa with burned Shuri Castle tiles
The project aims to foster remembrance of the castle, which suffered significant damage in a fire in October 2019, using the prefecture's mythical symbol.
Theaster Gates' “A Heavenly Chord” lines up church pews before seven speakers and a Hammond B3 organ, a type of electric organ prevalent in Black American churches.
Apr 27, 2024
Theaster Gates’ ambitious ‘Afro-Mingei’ brings Black Chicago to Tokyo
The largest solo show ever of a Black artist in Japan is an absorbing history lesson that draws a line between Chicago and Aichi.
Performers play a traditional drum unique to Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, in the prefectural capital of Kanazawa on March 16 to mark the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line to Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 26, 2024
Japan wants you to spend more with ‘luxury tourism’
The country is looking to nudge affluent tourists to lesser-known destinations with the offer of unique experiences of culture, craftsmanship and nature.
Adal’s Look into Nature brand, on show at Salon del Mobile 2024, rethinks "igusa" (Japanese rush grass), traditionally used for tatami, as a sustainable material for furniture.
LIFE / Style & Design / ON: DESIGN
Apr 13, 2024
Japan’s best and brightest designers set to shine in Milan
The Salone del Mobile trade fair and its accompanying SaloneSatellite exhibition of up-and-coming talent attracts a pool of talented Japanese designers.
The pair of Wajima-nuri wooden coffee cups presented to U.S. President Joe Biden from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
Apr 11, 2024
Kishida presents Noto's Wajima-nuri lacquerware to Biden
The Japanese and U.S. first ladies also exchanged gifts.
Koki Nagata (right) offers a Buddhist altar to a Noto Peninsula earthquake evacuee in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on March 29.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 10, 2024
Kumamoto shop owner gives away free Buddhist altars to Noto quake victims
“I hope it will be a source of comfort for those who lost their loved ones and homes," said shop owner Koki Nagata.
Kenji Tanaka uses a method of paper stenciling called Ise katagami that began in the region more than 1,000 years ago.
Apr 3, 2024
In Suzuka, artist hopes Formula One can revive ancient Japanese craft
Kenji Tanaka uses an ancient method of paper stenciling called Ise katagami to create model F1 cars.
Yuji Takahashi says there is a culture of passing down good furniture for generations in places like northern Europe. He wants such practice to be the norm in Japan as well.
JAPAN / Society / Regional Voices: Hiroshima
Mar 25, 2024
Craftsman’s works spreads nationwide through furniture with no nails
Yuji Takahashi uses a traditional technique called "sashimono," by which grooves are carved and joints fitted together.
Kaori Yamada grew up surrounded by bonsai her whole life and was expected to carry on her family's 170-year-old legacy when she became an adult.
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 23, 2024
The bonsai master working to branch out an age-old craft
Kaori Yamada grew up surrounded by bonsai her whole life and was expected to carry on her family's 170-year-old legacy or otherwise end it.
Artisan Suzanne Ross says Japanese lacquerware is a "treasure that belongs to the world."
JAPAN / Society
Mar 20, 2024
Wajima artisan’s livelihood, four decades in the making, upended by disaster
Lacquerware artist Suzanne Ross' life was upended by a massive earthquake. Now, she's determined to keep her craft alive.
Zashikibina, an exhibit by a group organizing hina doll displays in Fukuoka Prefecture, depicts the era of "The Tale of Genji," in the Gyosho room at Hyakudan Kaidan in Tokyo.
Feb 18, 2024
Hina doll exhibition in Tokyo highlights Girls' Day tradition
The event is being held for the first time in four years, after it was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An in-house design by Yamagiwa, the Sui drop-shaped light uses traditional Japanese chōchin lantern techniques and is made with Mino washi paper.
LIFE / Style & Design / ON: DESIGN
Feb 17, 2024
Japan-made standouts from one of Paris' biggest design fairs
Maison & Objet is now such a popular event that it is often nicknamed the Paris Fashion Week of the interior design industry.
The Final Fantasy-inspired plate was supposed to arrive in Tokyo on Jan. 5, but the Noto craftsmen moved up the schedule to the day before the destructive Noto tremblor.
LIFE / Style & Design
Feb 3, 2024
Spared from Noto quake, Final Fantasy lacquerware inspires hope
A group committed to preserving local lacquerware hopes that the decorative plate will help turn the region's dire disaster recovery situation around.
Takahiro Taya, the 10th-generation representative of lacquerware shop Taya Shikkiten in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, holds a lacquerware bowl discovered from a workshop destroyed by a quake on New Year's Day.
JAPAN / Society
Jan 22, 2024
Wajima-nuri shop resolved to protect craft after quake
When the shop started a crowdfunding campaign, donations — and many encouraging messages — came quickly from all over the country.


Akiko Trush says her experience with the neurological disorder dystonia left her feeling like she wanted to chop her own hand off.
The neurological disorder that 'kills culture'