Issues faced by Japanese crafts
Japan is home to many handicrafts that have a long history and are world-class in terms of technology. On the other hand, considering how few Japanese crafts are seen in our everyday lives, it is enough to understand that Japanese crafts are at a crossroads.
There are three main challenges facing each region.
These are "decrease in demand," "lack of successors," and "lack of raw materials and tools." These three issues are related to each other, such as a lack of economic capacity due to a decline in demand, making it difficult to hire people to pass on skills, and difficulty securing raw materials and tools due to supplier business downsizing due to a decline in demand. We are forming a spiral of hatred that we cannot escape from. As a result, there will be a further decline in demand, a shortage of successors, and a shortage of raw materials and tools. Unless these issues are comprehensively resolved, the production of traditional crafts and the passing on of techniques may be disrupted.
Immediate measures and suggestions based on issues
Many individual solutions are being sought to address the decline in demand, such as expanding sales channels, including overseas, and addressing the lack of successors, such as building an educational environment using digital technology such as VR/AR, and appropriately sharing work with machines. We are actively collaborating with various traditional craft producers and companies with business know-how and technology.
On the other hand, there are concerns that Japanese crafts are being separated from daily life, and that the functionality and aesthetic sense of the works are being lost, with crafts being promoted and sold around the world with little image of being used in daily life. It is about becoming a mere skeleton.
We believe that by once again selecting and disseminating information and works that are rooted in Japanese aesthetic sense, and integrating them into modern life, we will be able to resolve the fundamental issues surrounding Japanese crafts.