Creative Social Media Site Behance Promotes Traditional Japanese Culture in New Project
29.June.2022 | FASHION
Behance, the world’s largest creative social media network, has started a new project to promote Japanese traditional culture and arts and crafts to the world. Works on Behance will be transformed into NFTs, with the goal to establish a new way for traditional craftsmen to profit from their work.
Japan’s traditional arts and crafts are well-known by many around the world. On the other hand, challenges still remain as many regions’ traditional manufacturing industries are digitized. Sharing more detailed information about these crafts with overseas markets has also been difficult.
According to the “Survey on the Revitalization of Local Traditional Manufacturing Industries” published by the Development Bank of Japan in 2018, Japan’s traditional arts and crafts industry peaked around 1980. Due to the recession caused by the burst of the bubble economy, the rise of inexpensive foreign products, and changes in lifestyle, the amount of production has been declining year by year. Compared with the peak period, current production has dropped to one-fifth or about 100 billion yen. The workers involved in traditional crafts are also aging, making it difficult to pass on their skills to younger creators.
On Behance, users can not only get inspiration from other people’s work but can also publish their own works and receive helpful feedback and comments. Marketing professionals also use Behance to find creators for campaigns and collaborations, and previously, a Japanese creator who had uploaded his work to the social media site was asked to illustrate the cover of the New York Times.
This project is designed to promote traditional Japanese arts and crafts in the hopes of supporting their continued development in the face of many difficult conditions.
Digital Council for Traditional Culture x Adobe
Official Site: https://tcdc.jp
Naruto Anime Series Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Traditional Kokeshi Dolls
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Naruto anime series, Usaburo Kokeshi has created two traditional dolls modeled after Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha. The original manga series by Masashi Kishimoto has become a global phenomenon, and fans won’t want to miss out on these unique pieces! Preorders are now open.
Usaburo Kokeshi makes each of these pieces by hand, transforming them from children’s playthings into traditional works of art. The wood used to create these pieces is from trees in Gunma Prefecture.
Usaburo Kokeshi Doll – Naruto Uzumaki
Usaburo Kokeshi Doll – Sasuke Uchiha
These adorable dolls completely recreate both character’s outfits and hairstyles, and the designers clearly focused on the small details. Enjoy these palm-sized versions of your favorite Naruto characters!
Naruto Kokeshi Dolls from Usaburo Kokeshi
Orders Open August 3, 2022 at 11:00
Release Date: Late October 2022
EMOCAL, a Project to Support Japanese Regions, Releases Music Using Local Sound Samples
The EMOCAL project aims to support small-town areas of Japan. As a new initiative in the project, specific soundscapes only found in certain areas of the country have been combined with music to create some unique tracks. A selection of musical artists have collaborated with the project to bring these songs to life!
EMOCAL was created by ZOWA’s original label, CatchyStuck. The project supports local regions and communities by using ASMR soundscape videos recorded in each region to convey their particular charms to all of Japan. The sounds recorded in each place are considered to be very valuable and are intended to serve two purposes: to bring tourism back after the pandemic and to provide fans of ASMR a way to experience these areas from afar.
Check out each of these unique ambient tracks created by four up-and-coming musicians! Each song is available on viviON’s ASMR platform ZOWA and on Spotify.
Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture / Ikkyuu x Hige Driver, I Love Ikkyuu
Beard Driver created this ambient track with sounds recorded inside of Ikkyuu, a ramen shop.
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture / Miyuki no Hama x Powerless, Seiren
Powerless created this track, inspired by the sounds of waves crashing at Miyuki no Hama, a seaside recreation area 20 minutes from Odawara Station.
Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture / Wasabi Field x baker, On the silent hill
Utogi in Shizuoka city is surrounded by incredible nature. Known as the birthplace of wasabi cultivation, baker used sounds recorded in the area to create this ambient track.
Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture / Cape Tara x SeA0, Akushu
Cape Tara is a popular spot featuring an 800-meter-long sandbar at low tide. The sounds captured here were used by artist SeA0, and this track is sure to make you miss the water.
Official Site: https://catchystuck.jp/ambient/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Shelter Nanyo Hall in Yamagata for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Last month, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed on the Gobi Stage at Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States. The singer has now returned to Japan for the second half of her ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ seeing the singer performing 30 shows across Japan. The tour will conclude with a solo performance at Budokan in October.
In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities and has been attracting major attention. Kyary’s newest collaboration in Yamagata has been announced ahead of her concert there on May 13!
The singer will be collaborating with Shelter Nanyo Hall in Nanyo, Yamagata, a small town of only around 30,000 people. The hall is the world’s largest wooden concert hall, made entirely from laminated local cedar. It uses the most advanced fire-resistant technology for wood in Japan and was certified as the world’s largest by Guinness World Records in December 2015. The multi-functional hall can seat over 1,400 people, and the property also features a Japanese-style tea room, meeting rooms, an open tree-growing space, and more.
“I want the local population to be incredibly proud of this magnificent wooden structure,” said Norihito Shimanuki, the hall’s director. “Through this concert hall, we’d like to promote Nanyo and Yamagata Prefecture both domestically and internationally.”
The collaboration logo for the newest partnership was inspired by the ‘KPP NANDA COLLECTION LIVE in HAWAII’ visual. The one-night-only concert was held in July 2014. Since the main focus of this team-up is ‘wood,’ the visual’s palm tree has been transformed into a cedar tree!
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. The shirt is available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks only starting May 12. Support Japanese businesses and pick one up while you can!
Shelter Nanyo Hall Yamagata (Nanyo City Cultural Hall) x Local Power Japan Project
Price: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Available: May 12 – May 25, 23:59
Where to Buy:
LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Shelter Nanyo Hall (Nanyo City Cultural Hall): https://nanyoshi-bunkakaikan.jp
Tour Details: https://kpp10.jp/japantour2022/
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
*Please allow two weeks to one month after order for product to ship. All items are made-to-order.
*A portion of shirt sales will be donated to local development and social programs.
‘Doraemon: Nobita’s Little Star Wars 2021’ Film Inspires Limited Edition Ukiyo-e Prints
Fans of Doraemon and traditional Japanese artwork won’t want to miss this special collaboration! On March 30, preorders will open for ukiyo-e prints inspired by the film ‘Doraemon: Nobita’s Little Star Wars 2021.’ These limited-edition pieces were created by Iwano Ichibei, a Living National Treasure.
The prints show Doraemon and friends along with the alien Papi and the special gadget the “Small Light.” The tool is giving off light depicted in a traditional Edo pattern believed to bring good luck, and the characters are shown inside its silhouette.
Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print Production
Engraving by Craftsman
Printing by Craftsman
First, a sketch is made, and a monochrome version of the print is carved. After carving a number of woodblocks for each color and using them to rub the painting tirelessly to bring it to life, one single woodblock print is completed.
The extremely delicate and advanced techniques these craftsmen utilize have been passed down from the Edo period. Imagine having one of these beautiful pieces hanging in your home!
‘Doraemon: Nobita’s Little Star Wars 2021’ Commemorative Ukiyo-e Prints
Preorders Open: March 30, 2022
Price: ¥33,000 (Excluding Tax and Shipping Charges)
Painter: Living National Treasure Iwano Ichibei
Online Shop: http://ukiyoework.com/
Tokyo Handicrafts Craft Fair Exhibition at Matasuzakaya Ueno to Feature Panda Etched Edo Cut Glass
25.March.2022 | FASHION
The Tokyo Handicrafts Craft Fair Exhibition at Matsuzakaya Ueno will be running from March 23 until March 28, and guests will be able to pick up some incredible glassware at the event. Glasslab will be selling Edo cut glass with panda designs in three different colors. These will also be available online.
Panda Cut Glass Special Edition – Bamboo Version (Light Pink x Green)
Before Adding Alcohol
After Adding Alcohol
Panda Cut Glass – Lapis Lazuli Version (Light Blue x Lapis Lazuli)
Before Adding Alcohol
After Adding Alcohol
Panda Cut Glass – Yellow Version (Yellow x Bronze-red)
Before Adding Alcohol
After Adding Alcohol
Edo-Kiriko gets its name due to it originating in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). Every detail is cut into the glass by hand to create stunning designs. The way the glass sparkles changes depending on the light, which is a sight to behold. In the latter part of the Edo period, the cut-glass method of engraving designs onto the surface of the glass was brought over to Nagasaki from the Netherlands, and kiriko was born as a result of trying to mimic those techniques. Shiina Yasutane is a third-generation craftsman specializing in ‘sandblasting, who can reliably draw lines as fine as 0.09 mm wide.
Panda Cut glass
Where to Buy:
Online Shop: https://glasslab.official.ec/
Tokyo Handicrafts Craft Fair Exhibition at Matasuzakaya Ueno
Fair Running: March 23 – March 28, 2022
Three Japanese Tourism Instagram Accounts to Follow for Travel Inspiration
07.March.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has changed our lives forever. People have spent the last two years missing travel as they spend more and more time at home, and while many are ready to travel again, it can be difficult to know if it’s the right time to return to normalcy. To make the situation a little easier, many local tourism associations in Japan are posting images on Instagram to inspire people to give traveling another try. These three Instagram accounts are our personal favorites, and once Japan opens to tourists again, you won’t want to miss visiting these areas!
[Official Kumamoto Tourism Association] Motto, motto, Kumamoto!
Discover the charms of Kumamoto on this local Instagram account featuring photos from four unique local photographers. Many will know the area as the home of the character Kumamon. The images capture the daily lives of Kumamoto residents and include local food and gorgeous scenery. The postings also include the location of the photo and comments from the photographers, making things feel more personal.
[Official Hokkaido Tourism Association] GoodDay Hokkaido
Hokkaido is an area rich in gourmet seafood and dairy, but its spectacular landscapes are reason enough to visit. GoodDay Hokkaido shows off both the common and uncommon elements of Hokkaido life, often introducing little-known areas. Each photo is vividly colored, and followers can see different seasons at every time of day as they scroll through the feed. See the best images from Japan’s northernmost island each and every day on your smartphone!
[Ome / Okutama] Umetama
Umetama is an account that introduces places of interest in Ome and Okutama, two of Tokyo’s most scenic towns. Each can be reached in about an hour by train from Shinjuku Station. Visitors can enjoy a gorgeous day trip from the Tokyo center, with the area featuring plenty of campsites and hiking trails. There are tons of stargazing spots, and visitors are often surprised that such incredible nature is so close to Japan’s hectic capital. Those with kids will find plenty to do here, so start taking notes while you scroll through the Umetama page!
More and more young people are finding the appeal of Ome and Okutama, and the area has become the perfect relaxation spot for those seeking refuge from their busy lives. In addition, the craft beer bar Ome Beer, located near Ome Station, sells local alcohol, including Okutama’s popular craft beer ‘Vertere.’ See the lesser-known side of Tokyo on this picturesque account.
Remember how wonderful it is to travel? Hopefully, Japan opens for tourism again soon, and you can visit all of these gorgeous locales.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Mentaiko Manufacturer Fukuya for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is having a busy year. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021. On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan.
In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. The 30 stops on the new tour include many that Kyary has not visited before, and were chosen based on the singer’s desire to perform for fans who may not typically be able to attend one of her shows. On March 5, Kyary will perform in Fukuoka, and will also be collaborating with Fukuya, the oldest mentaiko producer in Japan. Fukuya has been selling the pollock roe product since 1949.
The company’s logo has been reimagined, paying homage to the artwork associated with Kyary’s 2016 song Sai & Co.
Fukuya’s most popular product, pickled cod roe in oil, will be sold in an original collaborative package with new Kyary-inspired branding. Mentaiko and dried mentaiko will be packed in two unique packages that can be stacked to form one image. A message from Kyary is also included. These will be available at select Fukuya locations and online for a limited time, as well as at the March 5 concert in limited quantities.
A T-shirt with a collaboration logo and design has also been unveiled featuring the new color scheme and Kyary’s 10th-anniversary logo. This shirt will only be available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website for two weeks and at certain Fukuya stores starting March 8.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu x Fukuya
Fukuya (Fukuoka) x LPJP
Orders Accepted until March 31, 2022
Fukuya x LPJP Collaboration T-shirt
Sales open until March 15, 2022
Where to Buy:
Participating Locations: Nakasu/Kawabata/Fukuoka Airport/Hakata Station DEITOS/Hakata Station Underground Shopping Center/Dazaifu/HAKU HAKU
Buy Online: https://store-localpowerjapan.com/
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
Ginza Tsutaya to Opens Spring Ceramics Fair
Ginza Tsutaya, located on the 6th floor of the GINZA SIX department store, is now holding a Spring Ceramic Fair until March 7, 2022.
Many popular ceramic artists are coming together for the event. This year’s lineup includes dishes and mugs with botanical patterns and animal motifs in spring-like colors to add color to tables and living spaces. A large number of works, from vases to tableware and even ceramic brooches, will be on display, including works by Wato Maekawa and Oda Pottery.
Participating Ceramic Artists
After studying pottery in England, Imai currently lives and works in Mashiko, Tochigi Prefecture. This year’s exhibition will show off her dyed works, including Zougan works, a technique in which different materials are inlaid into one material. Enjoy her small plates and teapots with soft colors.
Miki Furuhata is a pottery artist in Nagano. Using gentle colors and unique self-made glaze, her colorful pieces are a lovely addition to one’s daily life.
Hanako Sakashita uses a ‘kneading’ technique, in which colorful clays are kneaded together to create patterns, marbles, stripes, checks, and countless other patterns. Enjoy the many textures, shades, and patterns found in her works!
A ceramic artist living in Toyama Prefecture, Wato Maegawa creates works inspired by the four seasons. Her flower-shaped plates are reminiscent of Japanese sweets.
Using candle wax to make prototypes, these ceramic brooches and boxes are made with a technique adapted from candle making. These hand-painted pieces are very popular, and those on sale in this year’s exhibition are covered with flowers, birds, and animals in spring colors.
Oda Pottery was founded in 1921 in Mizunami City, Gifu Prefecture. Their lineup features vases that are easy to incorporate into any interior.
Ginza Tsutaya Spring Ceramics Fair
Running: February 7 – March 7, 2022 *The exhibition will end when all works are sold.
Location: Stationary Area
Japan’s manhole covers are known around the world for their intricate designs and unique local motifs. Used to promote towns and destinations, a new apparel brand has taken notice of these neat pieces of culture, releasing t-shirts to continue boosting communities around Japan.
In most cases, local governments are in charge of designing manhole covers. The Japan Underground team travels around the country in a van, finding the most inspiring manhole covers and negotiating with local governments to use the designs. They are then posted daily on social media.
Hokkaido Collection (Otaru / Ishikari / Wakkanai / Kushiro / Sapporo)
Tohoku Collection (Aomori City / Akita City / Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture / Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture / Higashine, Yamagata Prefecture / Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture)
Hokuriku Collection (Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture / Ojiya / Namerikawa, Toyama Prefecture / Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture / Fukui City / Katsuyama)
In July 2021, the group began their travels to sell the new products, starting in Hokkaido and continuing to the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions. In the future, they will continue to the Kanto, Chubu, Kansei, Shikoku, Chugoku, and Kyushu regions, adapting at least one manhole cover design from each municipality per prefecture. The goal is to reach Okinawa in September 2022.
Manhole Cover T-shirts
Price: ¥4,200 (Tax Included)
Online Shop: https://japanunderground.shop
NAKED Opens Traditional Craft Workshop in Saga Prefecture
Creative company NAKED has begun producing a collection of workshops on traditional crafts found in Saga Prefecture. Along with local creators, the event will continue through February 2022.
NAKED, together with Saga Prefecture, started a project called the ‘Saga Art Prefectural Government Project’ in 2016, which focuses on promoting the night economy in Saga. From the fall of 2021 until winter 2022, visitors to Saga will be able to enjoy a night walk surrounded by lanterns and local pieces of artwork.
During this event, workshops led by Saga’s top creators will invite visitors to create a number of unique, personalized items, from lanterns to hand lotion. Certain workshops are for both adults and children, making this a fun event for the entire family.
aroma*aroma Fragrance School Seminar House: Aromatherapy Soap Making for Parents and Children
Arita Porcelain Lab Painting Experience
Ogi Akari Project Bamboo Lantern Making Experience
Making Magatama at Yoshinogari Historial Park
Balloon Museum: Paper Balloon Making Experience for Parents and Children
full of flowers hyakka Flower Swag Making Experience
aroma*aroma Fragrance School Seminar House (with aroma lecture) Hand Cream Making Experience
Bubbleman Store for Adults: Saga Lotion Making Experience/ Bubbleman Store Candy Soap Making Experience for Parents and Children
Ureshino Warmth Festival Lantern Making Experience
Night Walking Art Display NAKED GARDEN SAGA
Address: Saga Prefectural Office, Top Floor Observation Hall
Running: October 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022
Hours: 18:30-22:00 *Final entry at 21:30
Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works Holds Pop-Up Event at Tokyo Midtown
The WISE・WISE tools Tokyo Midtown store provides helpful tools for daily life, including products from artisans and crafters from all over Japan. The shop focuses on sustainable and ethical items, and to promote the Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works, the lacquerware maker is holding a pop-up store at WISE from January 7 until January 23, 2022.
Kisohirasawa in Nagano Prefecture has been selected as one of the Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings and is famous for its local lacquerware. Visitors to the pop-up event can enjoy a variety of new lacquerware products that embody traditional Japanese beauty and style.
Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works is an artisan workshop exploring new iterations of lacquer that reflect modern life, while also utilizing the tradition of Kiso lacquerware. Lacquer glass is hand-painted one color at a time by skilled artisans, combining traditional colors with a translucent texture to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works
Running: January 7 – January 23, 2022
Address: WISE WISE tools Tokyo Midtown Shop, Gardenside Galleria 3F (9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Official Site: https://wisewise.com/
VTuber Group Hololive Releases First Round of Limited-Edition Regional Goods
Japan is known for its distinct regions, and visitors to the country can find extremely unique souvenirs specific to certain towns or prefectures. Even globally-loved snacks have regional variants! Now, the popular VTuber group Hololive has decided to market a collection of limited-edition goods based on particular parts of Japan. Items from the first round will go on sale at participating shops on December 18, 2021.
Tokyo Edition: Sakura Miko, Tokino Sora, Momosuzu Nene, Tsunomaki Watame
Osaka Edition: Natsuiro Matsuri, Nakiri Ayame, Himemori Luna
Fukuoka Edition: Shirakami Fubuki, Inugami Korone, Houshou Marine
Fans can snag acrylic stands, keychains, and pins featuring their favorite VTubers representing Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. This is only the first round of goods, and the second round will be announced soon.
© 2016 COVER Corp.