Gifu craft event in Roppongi Midtown encourages discussion and experience
There are always opportunities abound in Tokyo to experience some of Japan’s other many localities. In fact, if one were so inclined, one could remain exclusively in Tokyo and get a full dose of Japanese culture in the form of fairs, events, and restaurants. Food, performances, art, are among these localities, however one thing which Japan is and has been renowned for is craft.
Despite the finely honed Japanese techniques of dye, paper and brush making, pottery, blacksmithing, tiling, and so on, the “hand-craft” element of Japan will unfortunately be eventually lost to modernization. This is hardly an unbelievable outcome, as to become a master craftsman by the Japanese standard of refinement takes a lifetime, and the willingness of young people to devote themselves solely to such a profession is on the decline in favor of a modern urban lifestyle.
The craft culture will always be an important part of Japan however, and there will always be a small demographic who keeps traditional methods alive; this could be likened to the way in which native American languages are preserved in North America, by scholars, the occasional willing youth, and those involved directly with preservation efforts via charity and research grants. That being said, seeing, feeling, even experiencing the devotion that goes into Japanese craft is still a very accessible experience, and should be an integral part of a stay in Japan long or short term.
The event we have here will give people a chance to see some authentic Gifu craft, and moreover interact with the craftspeople themselves.
The event will be centered around viewing and appreciating the various crafts of Gifu prefecture, however this is also a great chance to have deep conversation with the craftspeople. It will be most fulfilling to hear about the state of the Japanese craft industry, and perhaps where it will be in the next decade. The purely authentic crafts made by hand with traditional methods will unfortunately wane in abundance, and soon enough, we may only be able to see them in museums, preserved as national treasures of an age already passed.