Category Archives: Japan

Aki Kasara

Taisuke Takehiro aspired to ceramic art and studied in Tokyo, Bizen, and Shigaraki.  She constructed her kiln in 1987 and in 2014 established her brand, Aki Kasara in a quiet mountain village in Kakegawa City, Japan.  Her focus is on simple, primitive, flat brooch that looks like metal but is actually hard porcelain.  By adding platinum, palladium and other elements the color can be changed according to the application.  Her designs include plants, animals, geometric patterns.

More of her work can be viewed on her website, Instagram and on her Iichi shop.

Images:  Courtesy of Aki Kasara.

Sanae Sugimoto

A few years back we posted the illustrations of Japanese artist Sanae Sugimoto.  Thought we should catch up with her more recent works.  The Fukuoka-based illustrator studied oil painting at a university in Kyoto and thereafter came back to her hometown to create her work.  She uses Sumi inks in the Japanese traditional colors of black and vermilion.  In an interview on Selvedge she says this about herself:  

“Since I was a child, I read many books and liked playing alone. Then I sort of created my own world inside of me. I guess I go back there only when I’m drawing. The Motifs have been the same since I was a teenager.”

“I tend to be indecisive when I draw, so limiting the colour and the method could solve this matter. I use Japanese ink called Sumi, this ink is quite thick compared to normal inks so it produces unique lines. Also, Sumi has black and red inks only.” 

You can follow the artist on her website and on Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of San Sugimoto.

Emi Takazawa

Emi Takazawa was born in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan.  She attended Bunka Fashion College studying and chasing fashion but had a longing for old things.  She worked at a company specializing in the traditional craft of ‘yokofuri’ embroidery.  In 2006 she became independent creating horizontal embroidery of corsages, earrings, headdresses and bouquets popular in bridal. On Beauty News Tokyo she explains how she became an embroidery artist:

“After graduating from a vocational school, I got a job at a company that handles horizontal embroidery of local (Kiryu) wedding costumes and stage costumes, but at that time I was assigned to the department in charge of wedding costumes. There were two traditional craftsmen there, and thanks to the fact that they taught me directly, it was said that “normally it takes several years of training to work on a sword.” In about a year, I was able to master the technique until I started working on it. About two years after that, after working at the company for embroidery such as embroidery and stage costumes, something happened and I became independent.”

More of her work can be viewed on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of Emi Takazawa.

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