Tokyo: Traditional Japanese craft is known for its unique aesthetics and high artisanship that have been inherited through the ages, be it glassware drawn with golden fish patterns, hand-carved wooden chopsticks, or classic iron kettles.
The Japanese government has officially assigned "traditional Japanese craft" status to those that have histories of over one hundred years to promote them. A variety of these crafts are gathered across the country to be showcased through an annual exhibition in Tokyo.
"Each of these traditional crafts has been perfected in Japan over a very long period of time, sometimes for a thousand year. And each traditional technique has been carefully passed down from one generation to another. These same techniques thrive today with constant enhancement to better answer today's need. By paying special attention to this detailed finish, or that fine luster, visitors can enjoy more," said Iku Hara, an official from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
One can hear meticulous hand-hammering sounds across the site. This is known as "Tokyo Goldsmith", a traditional handcraft from Tokyo. The technique is used to create different patterns and designs by processing metal sheets.
Exposure to these profound stages of production scene by experienced artisans gives visitors a deeper understanding of traditional craft. "I find it fascinating that while maintaining traditional side of Japanese culture that is very unique, it still manages to fit into today's life style perfectly. I like how I can see the contrast of tradition and modernity in these items," a visitor said.
At the site, there is a space where visitors can actually experience traditional craft making. There is a traditional loom used to weave fabrics used for Japanese traditional wear, "KIMONO," where visitors enjoy very valuable hands-on experience here. "It's really impressive to see how much patience and time people put to make simple things," a visitor said.
There is no doubt that traditional Japanese craft will continue to be passed down to the future generations as it continues to allure people with its own charm and spirits.