Photo by Yasuyuki Amazutsumi
Japan has a long history of traditional craft making whose roots are found in much of Japanese design today. More than 3,000 Japanese firms have a history that dates back over 200 years and many of these started out making traditional crafts. Today's enterprising craftmakers are looking to modern design to fit their products to 21st century lifestyles. Using the same age-old techniques and local materials, such as; Japanese cedar, iron, and bamboo, craftmakers are producing items that combine traditional crafts with the flair and appeal of modern design and many of these items are becoming increasingly popular outside of Japan.
At the forefront of Japan's craft design industry is the "Universal Craft Japan" movement, symbolized by products that imbue Japanese craft traditions and modern design, but which also have maximum functionality and usability. Examples include a small wooden harp designed for the elderly and disabled that easily fits in a person's lap, and a lacquerware bowl featuring a long stem for easy holding, called the "Palm-Held Bowl."
To help further the international appeal and recognition of Japanese design, JETRO helps small and medium-sized designers and craftmakers take part in major international exhibitions such as Maison et Objet in Paris and the New York Gift Show.
The face of Japanese design will continue to evolve, but deep-rooted traditions and a commitment to precision and quality will always be its recognizable elements.
Japanese Design Products Map
Superb crafts and craft-making techniques firmly built upon tradition and refined over many generations, enchant people and serve as a country's intangible cultural assets. Such techniques however do not just adhere to original tradition; they continue to evolve as they pass through each generation. Flowing through these techniques is the Japanese spirit and willingness to enthusiastically embrace foreign cultures, along with pride in craftsmanship and dedication to precision. This culture of Japanese craftsmanship - which is alive even in today's globalized internet society - helps distinguish Japan's arts and crafts.
Traditional Japanese Handcrafts Map
Japan Booth at Maison & Objet 2010 in Paris
In January 2010, the very best of Japanese interior & lifestyle design was on display at the world-renowned Maison & Objet exhibition in Paris. Supported by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japanese exhibitors at the event (25 companies and 4 organizations) introduced their unique and attractive products in a special Japan booth operated by JETRO for the sixth consecutive year.
The Japan booth attracted a record number of journalists that year, while the exhibition overall, despite the global recession, had over 85,000 visitors during the five-day event.
For Maison & Objet 2011 winter session, we organized 29 Japanese exhibitors including 12 new faces.
Japan Booth at Maison & Objet 2011: List of products and exhibitors
Japanese Design Market Information
- TRADE SHOWS IN JAPAN (Furniture, Gift, Craft)
- GOOD DESIGN, Products Databse
- JAPAN INSTITUTE OF DESIGN PROMOTION