Generations of artisans in Japan have forged and refined their crafts to become the envy of the world. Each of the country’s regions are renowned for specific traditions relating to local materials and the natural world in which they are produced. While tourists and design enthusiasts have long acknowledged the unique history and quality of Japanese craftsmanship, very few crafts have made their way outside the country, preventing many from witnessing the quality of Japanese workmanship for themselves.
With the aim of sharing these unseen treasures with the wider world, designers Uwe Röttgen and Katharina Zettl set out to find the finest examples of Japanese craftsmanship, traveling around the country to document the makers, their workshops, and the landscapes that influence them. Craftland Japan is the result of this extraordinary journey into the heart of Japanese culture.
Featuring twenty-five expert artisans, Craftland Japan reveals the techniques and materials that are used to produce a wide variety of beautiful objects, from porcelain bowls to indigo-dyed fabrics to paper. This book is a celebration of how Japan’s union of craft, design, materiality, and landscape continue to flourish in contemporary interpretation, however much the world around them has changed.
German designers chronicle a six-month-plus tour of Japan in this closeup look at 25 master artisans, a number of whom are officially recognized as national cultural treasures.
Uwe Roëttgen a product designer based in Germany.
Katharina Zettl is a graphic designer based in Germany.