Category Archives: Japan

Yumi Umeda

We often browse the Japanese market site, Minne, and regularly find great hand crafted items.  The embroidered items shown above is the work of Yumi Umeda and sold under the brand, YumYumYum. There’s very little biography on the artist but she has worked as an illustrator for books and magazines.

You can follow her on her official website, Creema, and Minne.

Images: Courtesy of Yumi Umeda.

Beyond the Reef

Love the story behind these handmade bags from the Japanese brand, Beyond the Reef. We’ll summarize the story with excerpts from their website:

“After her dear husband passed away and her two sons left the nest, my mother-in-law, a typical housewife, started to absorb herself in knitting, one of her most favorite things, as if to make up for her loneliness. Even though she had more than enough time, she had nothing to do… “No one needs me” – it could be one of the most cruel, unbearable realizations for a person to face. I started to think about what I could do for her, and came up with an idea; I could do something using the power of knitting, my mother-in-law’s favorite thing to do. That’s how Beyond the reef was born.”

“I saw my mother-in-law knitting diligently and happily, I realized that there might be the other elderly women who would probably in the same situation too. If only I could help by giving them a chance to work as a knitter and join society again, their life would become more meaningful. Then, I started looking for some elderly knitters, and luckily I happened to find them .”

“With their own purposes, women in different circumstances joined Beyond the Reef. Mothers learn how to knit from the skilled elderly knitters and young people order the products. It is fun to see their interaction across the generations, and I truly hope our bags can work as a link to connect many people.”

You can follow the group on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Images: Courtesy of Beyond the Reef.

Sakiyama Takayuki

These elegant stoneware are the works of Japanese ceramist, Sakiyama Takayuki. The artist graduated from Osaka Art College and set up a studio and built a special kiln on the west coast of Japan. On Beautiful People Liveart he says this about his work:

“All of my work is inspired by the sea, especially the natural curve created by the waves. When I was in junior high school I knew I had to find a way to be an artist and live by the sea. For three years after graduating from Osaka Art University, I traveled throughout Japan looking for an inspiring ocean view to set up my studio. I found that ideal spot on the west coast of the Izu Peninsula”.

The artist does not currently have a website but you can see more of his work at Mirviss Gallery.

Images: Courtesy of Sakiyama Takayuki.