JAPANESE CULTURE BLOG — CRAFTS

Wa-rōsoku (和蝋燭)

CRAFTS HOME NATURE

Wa-rōsoku (和蝋燭)

In celebration of World Environment Day on 5 June we’re honouring wa-rōsoku (和蝋燭), or Japanese candles.  In contrast to most Western-made candles, which are often made out of beeswax or animal fats, traditional Japanese candles are crafted from natural fats sourced from plant matter.  Historically, they were created for temples as a way to honour ancestors without killing animals against Buddhist beliefs.  This makes them a brilliant vegan alternative to other candles. Wa-rōsoku last longer, particularly in drafts, and they burn brighter and bigger, all with very little smoke.  Not only that, painted Japanese candles (e-rōsoku) are individually hand-drawn by...

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Tōjiki (陶磁器)

CRAFTS

Tōjiki (陶磁器)

Also known as tōjiki (陶磁器) or yakimono (焼き物), Japanese pottery was created as far back as Japan’s earliest historical era, the Jōmon period (10,500–300 BC), making it one of the oldest craft traditions in the world.

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Shodō (書道)

CRAFTS

Shodō (書道)

Japanese calligraphy or “way of writing”, also known as shodō (書道), is the artistic expression of the Japanese language using a fude (brush), sumi (ink), suzuri (inkstone) and washi (mulberry paper). You might also have heard of the term shūji (習字), which describes the neat and balanced penmanship often taught in Japanese schools. 

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Essence of Kyoto

CRAFTS FOOD GARDEN TEXTILES

Essence of Kyoto

It’s time to explore one of Japan’s best-loved cities during its most popular season.  In spring it's an extraordinary sight but as the world has come to a halt, let us bring a bit of Kyoto to you. 

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Washi (和紙)

CRAFTS

Washi (和紙)

From origami and ikebana to ukiyō-e woodblock prints and shodō calligraphy, washi (“Japanese paper”) is used in many renowned arts and crafts from Japan.  But it was also a practical material back in the day, providing clothes and useful household goods such as tableware.  Recognised by UNESCO for its cultural heritage, traditional washi differs from ordinary paper as it’s often handcrafted in a highly intricate process involving fibres from the bark of paper mulberry bushes (or the gampi and mitsumata tree).  This makes it tougher and more like cloth.  Washi remains a stylish and much sought-after material in Japan, used...

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