Culture of Japan - What Makes Traditional Japanese Crafts Great

You’ve finally made it to Japan and you’re loving it. The day when you have to leave is approaching and you want to get a souvenir to remember the trip, or maybe for your family or friends, but you’re not sure what to get. Well, how about a traditional Japanese craft? In this edition of our Culture of Japan series, we introduce some of our favorite traditional Japanese crafts and interview actual local craftspeople to unearth just what makes them so great.


Tsuiki Copperware - A Traditional Japanese Craft Whose Beauty Has Reverberated Throughout History

Copperware is a craft known for its gorgeous luster. For centuries, it's been used throughout Japan to make everything from temple bells to cooking equipment. But just what makes it so suitable to be used across a wide range of fields? In this article, we visited the Dogindoki shop in Oku-Asakusa, Tokyo, to learn secrets behind Japanese copperware from a craftsman with over 40 years of experience.


Pan - Taiwan

I am from Tainan and love handmade crafts and cooking.


A Peek Into Mokuhanga - Traditional Japanese Woodblock Prints Appreciated Across the World

You may have seen "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai, a prime example of Japanese art that is known around the world. Did you know that this piece, along with many others in the famous "ukiyo-e" art genre, are "mokuhanga," or woodblock prints? Although centuries old, this art form is still widely appreciated today. For this article, we visited the Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints to dive deeper into the fascinating world of woodblock prints and learn about how it will stay alive for generations to come.


Kim - United States

I am a lover of Japanese coffee culture living in Tokyo. On my days off, I enjoy visiting cafes while seeking out traditional, retro hidden gems.


The Art of Japanese Lacquerware: Ancient Techniques Crafting Timeless Masterpieces

For thousands of years, lacquerware has persevered as one of Japan’s foremost traditional crafts, but its complexity makes it impossible to define in simple terms. For this article, I visited Murakami, Niigata Prefecture, to discover more about the art directly from a traditional Japanese craftsman.

Steve Csorgo

Steve Csorgo - Australia

I was born in Melbourne, the coffee capital of Australia, and was drawn to Japan through anime, sake, and craftsmanship. I now live in Niigata, the sake capital of Japan.


More Than a Sword for Samurai: The World of Katana and Nihonto Explained by Swordsmith “Hirata Tantojo”

Known across the globe as the weapon wielded by Japanese samurai, katana are today one of the symbols of Japan thanks to their presence in hit Japanese movies and anime. But how much do you truly know about their complex history and intricate production process? For this article, I traveled to the borders of Tokyo to meet some of the last katana makers in Japan employing traditional forging methods to discover more about the wonders of Japanese sword making!

Stefania Sabia

Stefania Sabia - Italy

I am a resident of Tokyo and a lover of retro aesthetics, hidden spots, and traditional Japan. Since childhood, I have always admired Japanese culture, and after coming to Japan, I made it my mission to explore the country and showcase its beauty on Instagram.


Japanese Metal Casting - Experiencing the Limitless Potential of Traditional Crafts in Tokyo

Metal casting is all around us, from mailboxes and manhole covers to works of art, car parts, and even the world-famous Great Buddha of Nara. Since Japan boasts the fourth largest metal casting industry in the world, we decided to feature it in this article. Dive deep into this fascinating craft!


Lu - Taiwan

Born in Taipei, I am a subculture fan living the otaku dream in Tokyo and enjoying the best of what Japan has to offer.

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