Japan Creative shines a spotlight on the “different characters” of the country’s regional crafts

Japan Creative

Japan’s unique regional manufacturers are put under the spotlight by Japan Creative, an organisation that has paired them with international designers including Jasper Morrison, Daniel Rybakken and Industrial Facility to create new work.

Japan Creative

British designer Jasper Morrison has expanded on his earlier Palma project for Japan Creative, adding a second tea kettle

The non-profit organisation exhibited for the second time at this year’s Milan design week, presenting new products based on laquerware from Sabae, paper from Shizuoka, cast iron from Mizusawa and Aji inscription stone from Mount Goken.

In previous years, it has instigated projects like Stefan Diez’ Soba furniture, made using unprocessed bamboo from the groves surrounding manufacturer Taketora in Kochi Prefecture.

Japan Creative
Morrison’s homeware is made at cast-iron foundry Oigen, which has been in operation since 1852

The organisation launched in 2012 and works to bring international attention to Japanese craftsmanship, or “monozukuri”, which locally is already highly valued. Each year it picks three of Japan’s many small specialty manufacturers to focus on, and then selects a designer from overseas to complement each of them.

“Each area has a different character, and it affects the manufacturer’s techniques,” said Maho Masuzaki from Japan Creative, explaining the country’s many diverse specialities.

“We focus on whether the manufacturer has some unique material or technique, not only traditional ones. First we select the manufacturer and then we think about which designer to put together with the company.”

Japan Creative
This year Japan Creative also launched kitchen tools by Leon Ransmeier made using Aji stone by manufacturers Shimamoto Sekizai

Many of these manufacturers have been in continuous operation for centuries. Industrial Facility worked with Sekisaka to produce the Store vessels based on the manufacturer’s 300-year-old laquerware techniques, while British designer Jasper Morrison expanded on his earlier Palma project, adding a second tea kettle created at cast-iron foundry Oigen.

The manufacturer has been producing this kind of ironware – named Nambu after the former ruling family in the Iwate prefecture – since 1852.

Japan Creative
Aji stone is known as the “diamond of granites” for its texture and sheen

Also included in this year’s new launches were a sound-absorbing hood made by Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken and the Tokushu Tokai Paper company, and kitchen tools by Leon Ransmeier made using Aji stone by manufacturers Shimamoto Sekizai.

The stone is apparently known as the “diamond of granites” for its texture and sheen, and is usually used in gravestones, but Ransmeier used it in a rolling pin, nutcracker, and mortar and pestle to showcase its potential for “everyday use”.

Japan Creative
Industrial Facility worked with Sekisaka to produce the Store vessels based on the manufacturer’s 300-year-old lacquerware techniques

Industrial Facility’s Sam Hecht likened the country to Italy in the way it has managed to preserve its traditional crafts.

“With companies like Sekisaka, it’s very similar to Italy, where they are family companies that are generally handed down through generations,” he said.

“And the thing about family companies is, you can’t just stop. You can’t just close the door and say ‘oh well I’m going to do something else’ – you keep it going by default. So that’s why they have this ability to be able to adapt and to maintain their quality and their interests.”

Japan Creative
Industrial Facility’s Sam Hecht likened the country to Italy in the way it has managed to preserve its traditional crafts

Outside of Japan Creative, the country’s strong craft tradition is a frequent inspiration for designers. Barber and Osgerby worked with regional paper-lantern makers for their Hotaru lighting, while Nendo made a ceramic speaker in partnership with a potter.

Industrial Facility frequently works in Japan, including with the country’s design megastore Muji, which makes its products locally and recently collaborated with a number of artisans to introduce the handmade Tatazumai collection to its stores.

Japan Creative
This year Japan Creative also brought together Daniel Rybakken and the Tokushu Tokai Paper company to create a sound-dampening hood

“In Japan I feel the idea of craft – and it doesn’t have to be only handmade, it can be something that is produced in significant numbers, but still the process is crafted – people are really into that,” said Hecht. “There are tons of magazines that are exposing that in Japan, and it’s constantly part of the conversation.”

Japan Creative exhibited its projects during Milan design week at Palazzo Litta, where other works on show included bikes created by Punkt in collaboration with leading design schools. Its previous collaborations include works with Claesson Koivisto Rune, Nacho Carbonell and Inga Sempé.


Pokemon Go Finally Launches in Japan as India Continues to Wait

Pokemon Go Finally Launches in Japan as India Continues to Wait


  • Pokemon Go was initially launched in US, Australia and New Zealand
  • The delay in Japan launch was caused due to server overloading issues
  • India is still waiting for Pokemon Go’s official launch

Eager Japanese rushed to their phones on Friday to start hunting as the Pokemon Go mobile game finally launched in Japan, bringing the record-setting global hit to the home of the Pokemon characters.

After several days of rumours that the launch was imminent, Japan – one of the world’s biggest gaming markets – joined the United States, Canada, Australia and more than 30 countries in Europe in playing the “augmented-reality” game by Nintendo Co Ltd in which players interact with virtual characters in the real world.

The unexpected hit has doubled Nintendo’s value since its US launch earlier this month.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Junichi Masuda, head of development at Game Freak, and co-creator of the game, apologised in a video announcement on the Internet for keeping players waiting so long in the land where Pokemon was first born two decades ago.

(Also see: Pokemon Go iOS: How to Download Pokemon Go for iPhone, iPad)

“From today you can go out and find Pokemon to your heart’s content,” he said.

“We hope the game enables users to see the world in a new, fulfilling way. Obey the rules and have fun.”

(Also see: How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

Initial attempts to download the game took some time, but before long players were starting to hunt and capture the monsters, which showed up even in ordinary offices.

“This game is just as I imagined it to be, it’s really fun,” said Toshinori Ishibashi, 18, who was seen playing the game near a Pokemon goods store in Tokyo Station.

“It’s also a great reason to go outside, so I’m really enjoying it.”

(Also see: Pokemon Go: How to Catch Pikachu)

The game was created by Nintendo, Niantic, and Pokemon Co. Nintendo owns a third of Pokemon Co, and both have undisclosed stakes in Niantic.

McDonald’s Holdings Co Japan Ltd teamed up for the launch and said its nearly 3,000 shops across Japan would serve as spots where Pokemon can be battled or “trained” in the game – but added a very Japanese caveat.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Needs These 6 Features for Continued Success in India and Elsewhere)

“Ultimately, McDonald’s is a restaurant,” said a company spokesman. “We will call on players not to become a bother to customers who are eating.”

The Japanese government on Thursday issued a safety warning, with the country’s National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) giving nine instructions to users of the mobile game, ranging from advising them not to use their real names to warning about heat stroke in the muggy Japanese summer.

(Also see: This Pokemon Go Map Will Show You Every Pokemon Location)

Nintendo shares climbed more than 4 percent in Tokyo trading on Friday, while shares of McDonald’s Japan surged 7.2 percent.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apple, Gaming, iOS, Japan, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go



Pokemon Go to Be Available in Japan Wednesday; India Release Date Soon?

Pokemon Go to Be Available in Japan Wednesday; India Release Date Soon?


  • Pokemon Go is available in over 30 countries
  • It could launch in Japan tomorrow
  • This paves the way for more Asian countries, India included

Last week saw 26 more countries getting Pokemon Go in addition to Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Now it seems that Japan will get it tomorrow.

(Also see: Playing Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

According to sources close to the matter speaking to TechCrunch, Pokemon Go will be available in Japan on Wednesday. What’s more is that the blog claims that fast food chain McDonald’s will be the game’s first launch partner. It also noted that this will be the game’s first launch in Asia with other countries to follow.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Since Japan will be Pokemon Go’s first Asia release, its likely that others in the region such as India should see a release this week or the next. That hasn’t stopped eager Indian fans playing it though.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Review)

The impact of players in other countries sideloading the game, in addition to those in countries where Pokemon Go is available, is that the game has been uplayable for a vast number of people due to its servers unable to deal with the load. So much so that developer Niantic who made Pokemon Go along with Nintendo and The Pokemon Company has delayed its release in other markets till this is fixed.

(Also see Pokemon Go Player? Here’s How Much Mobile Data You Can Expect to Burn)

“We thought the game would be popular, but it obviously struck a nerve,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said, stating that the launch in other countries has been “paused until we’re comfortable”. Despite the rabid interest the franchise has generated over the years, something Niantic is aware of, it has been caught by surprise.

Tags: Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go India, Pokemon Go India Release Date,Pokemon Go Japan Release Date, The Pokemon Company

Japan won’t allow trying out of absolutely self sufficient cars On Public Roads


All autonomous vehicle assessments need to be made with a driving force behind the wheel
automobiles testing on public roads need to be prepared with a black box
A panel of professionals will be installed to make legislative modifications
at the same time as the japanese government is supportive of self-using motors and the relatedgeneration, it has also made it clear that the much pointed out absolutely self sufficient vehicles willnow not be tested on public roads in the u . s . a .. As consistent with reviews inside the japanesemedia, the land of the growing sun has mounted pointers posted by using the local countrywide Policeorganisation (NPA) declaring that all exams on public roads need to be made with a motive force behindthe wheel.

The circulate is to keep away from a mishap and the driver may be geared up to take control of theautomobile in case of feasible a malfunction. The stated individual will even ought to make certainprotection and observe traffic laws in the course of his stint behind the self reliant automobile.furthermore, the japanese government has said that fully independent automobiles will should beready with black packing containers, like those in air crafts, so one can record statistics in an effort tobe analyzed in case of an accident. this may determine as to what brought on the twist of fate and what steps want to be taken earlier than check drives of self reliant motors resume.

A panel of professionals may also be set up by using Japan’s national Police company. The experts willanalyze the feasible legislative reforms in regard to the brand new technology with topics starting fromwho might be legally responsible in case of an accident as well as organising anti-hacking measurements. The panel can even discuss on how the driving force‘s license gadget for self-driving carscan be modified.

the japanese government has advanced a type system for semi and completely computerizedautomobiles. The category system is split in 4 levels with degree 4 which include completelyautomated capabilities without the need of human involvement; whereas level 3 includes havingconstrained self-riding abilties where the car is largely pushed with the aid of the self sufficientgeneration but the driver can take manipulate, ought to it’s vital. degree 2 involves a couple ofautomatic features together with steerage, acceleration and manage, and stage 1 consists of thosemotors with limited automated capabilities.

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