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3 examples of mastery in Japanese Design

From the art of pottery to the perfection of woodworking, Japanese craftsmen are known for their sophisticated expertise in their design and execution.

But the Japanese path to protect their craftspeople hasn’t been an easy one. After the Second World war crafts suffered along with the people, while the Government reacted with new programs to protect craftspeople. Although the government has taken these steps, craftsmen face the problem of the aging society while trying to stay true to tradition and remain relevant to customers’ needs.

Despite all of this, it is important to underline the importance of dedication and time, in the creation of handicrafts. This is the only way to create aesthetically high-quality utility objects that persuade in their longevity and timelessness, true to the motto “Good things take time,” or as they say: “Seitewa koto o sisonjiru”.

With this being said, let us take the time to dive into three different examples of mastery in Japanese Design.


Kashi Wan Bowl by Otoro: An example of Shikki and Japanese table culture

Shikki is the name of the Lacquerware technology, applied to fine and decorative art objects, including tableware, which is an integral part of Japanese table culture. Due to the multi-stage treatment, the Kashi Wan bowls, which the Kihachi manufactory produces for otoro design, have a silky soft surface. The noble tableware can also be combined with ceramics or glass objects.

Aesthetic forms and individual surface textures make these objects unique. This also convinces more and more top gastronomy and friends of sophisticated table culture. In Japan, crockery made of lacquerware is an integral part of daily use. Shop this bowl.


Akari Light Sculptures – Handmade Table Lamps

Akari Light Sculptures were designed by Isamu Noguchi in the 1950s. He was a furniture designer and considered one of the greatest American sculptors and a pioneer of Land Art.

Named after the Japanese word for light and lightness, these table lamps preserve the sun and radiate heat in the dark. These filigree light bodies made of shoji paper and steel wire are made by hand in Gifu / Japan by the Ozeki manufactory and sold by Vitra. Shop this table lamp.


Katsutoshi Nakashima Wood Chair: The mastery of woodworking

This chair, designed by George Nakashima in 1946, is a reinterpretation of the old Windsor chair, translating its advantages, such as lightness and low material usage, into a simplified, simple form.

Among the most famous assignments that George Katsutoshi Nakashima performed include, among others. Interiors for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Columbia University, the Christ Church in Katsura near Kyoto. As a craftsman, Nakashima always tried to give the trees a ‘second life’.

Nakashima designed the backrest less high than the classic Windsor chairs and applied a color contrast between the struts and the rest of the chair. The final product highlights the smooth feel and the warmth of the wood. Shop this chair.


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Content Credit: ©Through Objects.

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