The refined customs, the high standard of life and the breathtakingly beautiful crafts of Japan speak volumes about the wealth of its culture. Especially handmade crafts have always received international acclaim for their fine quality and simple beauty.
Due to the ongoing Japan boom and the government’s Cool Japan initiative, which aims at introducing Japanese culture on a global scale, the inflow of tourists and culture enthusiasts has risen in recent years.
Read on to find out about a selection of Japanese crafts, that will surely entice you!
Katana/Nihonto: Japanese Sword
Katana, or Nihonto (meaning Japanese sword), were once swords used by samurai in feudal Japan. But even today Katana crafted in Japan enjoy international acclaim, as many of the still existing antique swords or even ones crafted by masters in some of the few still existing workshops in Japan and around the world are seen as valuable collector items.
Watch the video below to get a glimpse on how a master turns metal to art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5iriJqb8AA&t=3s
The Katana’s counterpart and a more practical item that can be used in everyday life is the Japanese kitchen knife known as Hocho. As Katana they’re known for their sharpness, but also for their ease of sharpening, edge life, and toughness, making them a favorite household item around the world. Find a great selection of Japanese knives on our store: https://www.a-janaika-japan.com/cookingware/hocho-japanese-kitchen-knife.html
Katchu: Samurai Armor
You’ve probably always wanted to try one of the armors you have seen samurai wear in anime or dramas to look just as badass as them! Well in Japan there are quite a few workshops which don’t just craft armors for display, but real wearable armors! Usually, Japanese samurai armors are divided into 3 groups: antique, premium and standard. If you want to know what the differences between the models are and where in Tokyo you can have a real samurai armor shooting plus city walk check out our page dedicated to one of the most iconic traditional Japanese crafts here: https://www.a-janaika-japan.com/samurai-armor-lp/
Nambu Tekki Ironware
Nambu Tekki, better known as Nambu Ironware in the west, is a local specialty of Iwate Prefecture. It is said that the production of Nambu ironware started in the area around Morioka City in Iwate at the end of the 17th century. Their stylish appearance yet mysterious feel of the surface when touched, made Nambu ironware popular among feudal lords during the Edo period, earning the industry protection during that period. With time the ironware became popular even overseas, leading to the government’s decision to designate it as a traditional craft in 1975.
Featured on our store you will find a selection of gorgeous and useful ironware crafted by master’s in Morioka: https://www.a-janaika-japan.com/cookingware/cast-iron-nambu-ironware.html
If you’re interested in the crafting process please watch our documentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NpY6sfK-nY&t=69s
Japan is also known for its extravagant lacquerware. Being once called “Zipangu” (Land of Gold), crafts made in the Edo Period were considered priceless due to their marvelous decorations, such as the famous maki-e.
Today one can enjoy these iconic designs on items like pens, brushes and even smartphone covers, which shows how timeless Japanese art can be! Read on if you’re interested in Japanese lacquerware and its transition and implementation into today’s society: https://www.a-janaika-japan.com/special02/
Calligraphy Brush for Shodo
Japanese calligraphy, or Shodo, is a form of artistic writing that uses a brush and ink. Important for properly drawing characters in Shodo style are brushes crafted with utmost care – their most prominent and important feature being their tip. In old times a brush without a proper tip would be useless, as it couldn’t be used to draw characters.
Recently, the same principle has also developed regarding make-up brushes, as a good tip can enhance the experience and the results. Japanese brush makers are internationally recognized for creating brushes that feature both quality and beauty. Making use of the traditional brush making techniques from Shodo, masters are able to produce make-up brushes, which can pull out you cosmetics’ full potential!
Warosoku Japanese candle
The last item on our introduction list is Warosoku candles. They differ from western candles in terms of material and shape. They are made of vegetable wax, while the wicks are made of processed Japanese paper. Their typical shape gradually becomes narrower at the base of the candle. Usually, you’ll find white and red candles, which make up the two basic colors of Warosoku candles. They will also quite often feature traditional motifs, making them great decorations too!
Find a candle that suits your test here: https://www.a-janaika-japan.com/everyday-items/rosoku-candle.html
Even though Japanese crafts are still popular, a persisting problem is that the traditional industry is shrinking in size as it becomes more difficult to stay in business in the 21st century. As a countermeasure, craftsmen from around the country aim to make use of their skills and experience to further spread their devotion to traditional craft and culture. It’s their mission to preserve and hand down the knowledge of their craft to the next generation while searching for new ways to challenge their skills and know-how. Not only is it their aim to preserve their cultural heritage but also its innovation.
A-Janaika Japan aims to support our craftsmen’s ambitions by distributing their works of art internationally with smooth shipping worldwide. A-Janaika Japan’s prices are always based on those of the respective local manufacturer’s. This is your chance to buy high-quality crafts from Japan for their local prices!