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    Glossary Term
    Shukogei - Japanese Arts and Crafts


    English Definition:
    Japanese Arts and Crafts

    Japanese arts and crafts have been influenced for centuries by many factors: environmental, social, cultural, political and economic. Nature, in particular, plays a major role in the Japanese artistic aesthetic; natural raw materials such as bamboo, lacquer, wood, and paper are a mainstay in their traditional arts and crafts. Motifs also have traditionally drawn on nature; cherry, plum, maple, pine, chrysanthemum and others are themes running throughout Japanese art.

    Japan has received heavy influence from continental Asia, particularly China, over time. However, with it's unique perspective and thousands of years of time, Japan has characteristically molded its borrowed ideas and techniques into something new and totally "Japanese."

    Unfortunately, traditional Japanese arts and crafts have suffered heavily as modernized techniques and materials begin to encroach upon the traditional ones. In one example, Japan has developed a simple, computerized printing machine that can reproduce virtually any kimono pattern and print it onto silk within minutes!

    In spite of such "advances," true connoisseurs of authentic traditional Japanese arts and crafts still choose the handmade over the mass-produced; they know that the art is lost when the intangibles, such as love, passion and just plain hard work, bestowed upon the art by the artisans, are taken away. The work is no longer art, but simply another mass-produced commodity.

    Note: To view the traditional Japanese arts and crafts of The Japanese Connection, click here.

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