Japanese crafts 'glocalise'
Small Japanese crafts firms, some with knowhow hundreds of years old, came to Paris this week in what Japan's government describes as a "glocalisation" drive
PARIS, January 31, 2008 - For the second year running, a clutch of small
Japanese crafts firms, some with knowhow hundreds of years old, came to Paris
this week in what Japan's government describes as a "glocalisation" drive.
"In today's global world, these small local companies based far from Tokyo
in our regions want direct contact with the rest of the world, it's
glocalisation, between globalisation and localisation" said Hiroyuki Ishige,
who heads the economy and trade mMinistry's trade policy bureau.
"They are looking to expand their market worldwide," he told AFP.
From porcelain to woodware crafted with techniques dating back to the 18th
century, the goods displayed at the world's largest home show, Maison & Objet,
caught the eye of top buyers.
US buyers from both New York's MOMA and the Smithsonian were looking at
orders, along with top-end French department stores Le Bon Marche and
Printemps and chic Milan concept store, 10 Corso Como.
It was the second consecutive foray onto the Paris design scene for such
small Japanese crafts firms that marry age-old crafts with the modern age.
Traditional Japanese craft-making flourished in the 16th century when the
country was unified, but lapsed in post-war 20th century Japan, when the focus
was on mass production and industrial competition. Such traditions have
resurfaced in recent years as art and crafts find growing popularity in Japan
Items displayed went from paper-thin glassware light as air, to finely bent
and rounded cedar cups and fine gold leaf, one 10,000th of a millimetre thick,
pasted into bowls, or aluminium vases made by a onetime specialist in casting
Buddhist altar fittings.