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Published: March 2020
In Japanese life and culture, there has never been a clear distinction between art, craft and design. Generations of artisans have for centuries forged and refined their crafts, which have become the envy of the modern world. Regions of Japan are renowned for specific traditions, many of which are born of local materials and the natural settings in which they are produced.
Visitors and craft and design enthusiasts have long known about the high quality of craftsmanship and the unique quality of these makers and the objects they create, though few are taken outside the country. Spurred by an awareness of the unseen treasures produced by these craftspeople, designer-authors Uwe Roettgen and Katharina Zettl set out across the country to find the finest examples, to document the makers and their workshops and the rural landscapes that surround them. The result is a breathtaking odyssey into the heart of Japanese culture. The authors portray twentyfive artisans, who work with natural materials to produce objects that are intended for everyday life but are worthy of museum display. Photographs and texts, drawn from close collaboration with each maker or studio, depict ancient techniques that continue to flourish, however much the world around them has changed.
Craftland Japan is not merely a book about Japanese crafts: it is a glimpse into centuries of tradition and wisdom through the prism of contemporary makers. It celebrates the union of craft, design, materiality and landscape in a manner that most cultures can only hope to emulate.
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