Fashion & Design

Browse through articles on Japanese fashion and design - from traditional Kimono to the latest Harajuku trend, designs of Japanese architecture, miscellaneous goods, crafts, etc.

Nishijin-ori Patterns on Glass Plates

Nishijin-ori (literally "Nishijin fabric") is the typical style of fabric used for obi, the belt tied around the waist when wearing traditional Japanese kimono. Many people wear obi made with spectacular Nishijin-ori for celebrations and other special occasions, both in the past and in the present day. However, people have fewer opportunities to wear them regularly because of changes in their lifestyles. In light of this, there is growing attention for new products that use Nishijin-ori. Let's take a look at glass plates that incorporate the designs of Nishijin-ori while inheriting the skills and esthetics from this fabric with a long history.

Balcony Gardens: A Small Space to Unwind

In urban areas, many people live in apartments or houses that don't have a garden. In recent years, as work styles have diversified and more people are looking for ways to enrich their daily lives, people in cities have turned to their balconies as a place to grow plants and feel the earth between their fingers. For those without access to a proper garden, balcony gardening is gaining ground as a way of connecting with nature. Let's take a look at how this hobby has developed in Japan.

Kintsugi — Creating New Value From Broken Items

Recently, an ancient Japanese technique for repairing broken ceramics called kintsugi has been growing in popularity. One reason for this is the increased focus on sustainability, which has led more people to take care of and use their possessions as long as possible, but the beauty itself that results from using urushi lacquer and powdered gold is another reason for the technique's newfound popularity. Let's take a look into what kintsugi is and how it is enjoyed in Japan today.

Why Does Japan Love Parasols?

The Japanese archipelago spans a long distance from north to south, so it has a variety of different climates ranging from sub-arctic to sub-tropical, while summers are characterized by very hot and humid weather, and strong sunshine. Parasols are popular items to help avoid the intense sunlight and make summer more comfortable. The sight of so many people walking around holding parasols can sometimes be strange for foreigners. So why are parasols so popular in Japan? Let's take a look.

The World of Renzuru: Linked Origami Cranes Made from a Single Sheet of Paper

Origami is a traditional Japanese pastime where people make many different kinds of figures by folding paper. The crane is seen to be symbol of auspiciousness, and so origami cranes are a widely familiar motif among Japanese people as many have made at least one origami crane in their lives. Origami cranes, or Orizuru in Japanese, can be created in an interlocking manner from a single sheet of paper, in a style known as Renzuru.

Yosegi-zaiku, Parquet Work That Demonstrates the Infinite Beauty of Wood

Yosegi-zaiku (literally “parquet work”) is the name of a traditional Japanese craft that uses many different kinds of wood in combination to produce beautiful and intricate patterns by utilizing the differences in color between each type of wood. In recent years, this craft has gained publicity in Japan as well as overseas, with people drawn to its appealing looks and the sense of warmth that only wood can bring. This article looks at the history and methods for Yosegi-zaiku, as well as the hopes and ambitions of young artisans that will build the future for this craft.

“Kumihimo”: Intricate and Highly Functional Braided Cords from Japan That Continue to Evolve in the Present Day

Many different kinds of cords play a part in a wide range of areas in our lives. We use them to tie up bulky objects for transport, to adjust the waist size of our pants, or as straps for holding bags. Apart from those used as everyday items, there are also beautiful cords that have been handed down as traditional handicrafts up to the present day. These cords are called “Kumihimo.” This article looks at the profound world of Kumihimo in Japan.

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