Urushi, essentially, is the enduring appeal of this all-natural wonder material.
Usui Raw Silk Company in Annaka, Gunma, is Japan’s largest silk mill. Now, Usui is the only one left.
Visit Mishima and you will see handmade basketry everywhere. Neither decorative pieces of art nor casual souvenirs, they are living works of natural beauty, used and appreciated daily.
From ship sails to street fashions, Japan’s 100 percent natural high-quality canvas turns up in more places than you’d imagine. And it’s surprisingly soft and silky to the touch.
Crafted by hand from the fi ber of trees grown by the artisans themselves, these resilient, textured papers are easy on the environment in ways worth knowing about.
The moist, silky look of urushi lacquer is deceiving: this all-natural coating is durable enough to outlast us all. Two artisans carry on the Kishu heritage of using raw sap in innovative ways.
Kilns were fi ring wares in this Land of Pottery as far back as the 10th century. Seto potters today can meet just about any design or technical challenge. Read on to see their diverse styles.
A bioactive protein secreted by silkworms and typically discarded in silk-making is being recovered and adapted for use in high-end bath products that benefi t skin and the environment.
Deep in snow country, where the Tadami River flows, lies a town where handmade basketry is just one secret behind a community-wide joie de vivre.