Artisanal by Tokyovision is a fusion of tradition and innovation. This new e-commerce venture celebrates Japanese culture and craftsmanship, with a range of products that not only serve a purpose but also tell a captivating story.

Tokyovision is a seasoned player in international video production. For over 40 years, the company has shared the beauty of traditional Japanese crafts and culture through video content, collaborating with major international television networks such as France TV, Discovery Channel, and ZDF. Artisanal is Tokyovision’s new e-commerce venture, a way of weaving tangible products into the narratives.

Artisanal by Tokyovision: Weaving well-crafted products into captivating narratives

“During filming around Japan, we have seen artisans preserve traditional culture and produce high-quality products,” explains Eri Fukuyasu, merchandising manager. But the travels also highlighted challenges facing Japan’s craftspeople; declining domestic consumption of traditional crafts, soaring raw material costs, and other issues.” We hope to help by taking traditional techniques that have been handed down over generations and transforming them into a form that suits modern life, and bringing them to the rest of the world.”

Artisanal by Tokyovision: Weaving well-crafted products into captivating narratives

Japanese minimalism and natural beauty

Artisanal is a fusion of tradition and innovation. Two concepts are at the core of the brand; Japandi, which incorporates the aesthetic of Japanese minimalism, and Wabi Sabi, which means natural beauty. An example of the fantastic craftsmanship is the bamboo pouch, made by a bamboo-working artisan in Beppu City. Drawing upon the traditional techniques of Beppu bamboo craft, which dates back to the 14th century, the artisan has melded centuries-old traditions with modern design sensibilities for a refined masterpiece.

Artisanal by Tokyovision: Weaving well-crafted products into captivating narratives

“For our range, we select simple and well-crafted products, designed in a contemporary way that also fits in with our daily lives,” assures Fukuyasu. “Everything is designed and made by hand, by artists in workshops throughout Japan. And we also collaborate to create original products that are not available elsewhere, such as gadget pouches made of textiles from the Ryukyu Kingdom.”

The natural materials that the artisans work with may have certain limitations, but they are full of charm that cannot be achieved with plastic products and mass-produced goods. Taking bamboo as an example, it will develop a rich, caramel hue as it ages, a testament to its journey through time and exposure to sunlight. This natural ageing process adds to the allure of bamboo products, inviting owners to nurture and cherish their pieces as they evolve over time.

Artisanal by Tokyovision: Weaving well-crafted products into captivating narratives

Volcanic stone glass and lasting coffee cups

A recent addition to the range of products is the Niijima glassware series. The area where the glassware is produced, Niijima, belongs to Tokyo but is surrounded by the sea. This is the only pure volcanic stone glass in the world, made by melting an entire Koga stone. In the final step after shaping the Tsukime glass in the series into a perfect round shape, the inside of the hot, blown glass is poked outwards. And the gentle bumps on the surface of the Sazanami glass represent the ripples of ocean waves, known as Sazanami in Japanese.

Artisanal by Tokyovision: Weaving well-crafted products into captivating narratives

Another inspiring design is the Shodai Blue series by renowned contemporary artisan Tomokazu Yamaguchi, who has inherited the traditional pottery technique, originating in the Kumamoto region in southwest Japan, and transformed it into a captivating series including plates, teapot, cup and saucer. The beautiful irregular blue pattern is formed by a reduction reaction on the natural straw ash glaze, which is applied to the ceramics. It’s difficult to produce this pattern exactly as the artist intended, as the final result is largely controlled by nature, however after years of trial and error Yamaguchi found a way by precisely adjusting the temperature of the kiln and the convection of the heat.

Next up for the brand is the launch of the Keyaki To-Go Coffee Cup on Kickstarter crowdfunding. The campaign will run from 14 May to 28 June. The cup is shaped like a familiar take-out cup but is made entirely of zelkova wood, which is carved by hand. Instead of using disposable coffee cups for take-out, Artisanal proposes using this reusable wooden cup. The original product was developed in collaboration with a workshop that has been producing Yamanaka lacquerware for four centuries. Fukuyasu concludes; “It’s challenging to achieve the precision required for a perfect fit between the cup and the lid with natural materials. Only traditional Japanese craftsmen possess the expertise to curve the wood with such precision.”



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