Wakuneco Makes Heart-'felt' Portraits of Cats
A Japanese artist who goes by the name of Wakuneco is helping pet owners memorialize their furry friends with lifelike felt portraits.
How Imari Ware Took Europe By Storm
Imari ware began shipping from Japan to Europe in the late 17th century, and the elegant porcelain thrilled royals and nobles. The mountain village of Okawachiyama and its secret kilns is the best place to explore the history of Imari ware.
How Japanese Pearls Are Processed
How are pearls processed? Prized Akoya pearls are sorted in front of a north-facing window, where the low-angled natural light reveals any scratches and irregularities, and practiced artisans recognize flaws as slight as a tenth of a millimeter.
Handmade Knives in Yamagata
See how Shimada Cutlery Works carries on a blade-making tradition dating back to the year 1365.
The Organic Beauty of Kaga Lacquerware
A mountainous land dotted with hot springs, Yamanaka in Ishikawa Prefecture is a major center of lacquerware production, thanks to woodturners who emigrated to this area 400 years ago.
Natural Incense Born of Tradition
This beautiful leaf-shaped paper incense is produced by a company on Awaji Island that has been in the business for 120 years!
Taking Denim Beyond the Jean Jacket
Hiroshima is known for its denim. But the denim being made here may not be the kind of denim you know!
The Evolution of the ¥100 Shop
It's amazing to see what ¥100 can buy! It's even more amazing to see what DIY projects some creative customers are able to accomplish using only materials from ¥100 shops!
Calligraphy Artist Speaks with Her Brush
Japanese calligrapher Nobuko Obata has pursued her lifelong passion for calligraphy, despite an accident that left her without hands from a young age.
Sumida Textiles: Hand-Dyed in Tokyo
The Sumida Ward has long prospered as the center of Japan's fabric industry. Even today, it is capable of reproducing nearly any color on demand.
Onitsuka Tiger: Shoes Running Around the World
Onitsuka Tiger is an iconic shoe brand produced by sporting goods company ASICS. Despite once disappearing from the market, it has been revived as a fashionable sneaker brand with global popularity.
2 Modern Masters of Woodwork & Lacquer
Working by hand at scales that can at times only be seen with a magnifying glass, these two artisans are heirs to a 400-year-old legacy of woodworking in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Stationery Supplies Look Good Enough to Eat!
Japan’s love for all things stationery can’t be denied. And their reputation as a nation of foodies also holds true. So it was only a matter of time before the two collided.
The Secrets of Pearl Harvesting in Japan
Look closely through the translucent sheen of any Akoya pearl and you’ll see a rainbow of colors—a joint gift from the growers, the oysters, and the sea itself. But how are they produced?
The Hand-Dyeing Specialists of Sumida-ku
If you're looking for custom, hand-dyed fabrics, these three specialists in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, are dyeing to set you up!
The Ultimate Wedding Cake Knife
Swords have been forged in this Gifu Prefecture town since the late Kamakura Period. Now the same traditions are being applied to some of the best knives you can hope to find.
Rep Your Prefectural Pride with Cool Necklaces
A Tokyo accessory maker has turned Japan's prefectures into pieces of art you can wear around your neck to show off your favorite location!
Endless Design Possibilities: Fukuyama Denim
Specialists in every step of denim manufacture—spinning, dyeing, weaving, washing—abound in Fukuyama, a leading producer of denim in Japan. The locale is a driving force behind the worldwide appeal of Japanese denim.
Feline Furniture is Purrfect for Cats & Owners
A company in Shimane Prefecture is making feline-friendly furniture that's great for both pets and owners!
All About the Local Creators' Market
Launched by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Local Creators’ Market focuses on five Japanese locales noted for producing exquisite traditional handicrafts.