The white rose that blossoms in the rain

Lifestyle Oct 6, 2019

The white rose that blossoms in the rain

by Alex Martin

White Rose Co. invented the plastic umbrella in the 1950s when Mitsuo Sudo was inspired by vinyl tablecloths brought to Japan by occupation forces. Now it's just one of few makers weathering the storm of cheap, mass-produced imports.

Takaoka crafts a new tourism industry

Lifestyle Jun 9, 2018

Takaoka crafts a new tourism industry

by Mio Yamada

In the entrance of Nousaku in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, a group of schoolchildren skip by and point excitedly at an eclectic display of hundreds of brightly colored objects. Other visitors, meanwhile, look down in wonder toward the concrete floor, where a huge golden silhouette ...

Edo-kiriko: A cut above the average glassware

Art Jan 7, 2018

Edo-kiriko: A cut above the average glassware

by Mai Iida

For Ryuichi Kumakura, a 70-year-old cut-glass artisan, finding young workers eager to learn and preserve the traditional Japanese craft is the least of his troubles — showing them how to engrave exquisite pieces of glassware with precision is what matters most. Having a decent "business ...

Keeping up with the Joneses, Edo style

Art May 9, 2017

Keeping up with the Joneses, Edo style

by Yoko Haruhara

The Edo Period (1603-1868) is renowned for the flourishing of material culture — a time when major advances and innovations in Japanese folk crafts and design were prized by the burgeoning commoner class of Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Osaka. "The Golden Age of Mingei: Life ...