About GO FOR KOGEI

  • Realize the Potential of Japanese Crafts in Hokuriku

  • Kogei hails from the Hokuriku region, a major center of craftsmanship, in central Japan, where Japanese crafts are elevated to art and design. And we want to share it with the world.

    Through techniques developed over centuries, Kogei brings out the best of natural materials, making it as relevant today as it was so long ago. Using indigenous materials conserves energy and resources while at the same time contributing to the local economies. The artists’ tools are such an example. Cherishing durable instruments for a lifetime lesses wasted resources and creates connections with people, including other artisans and clients. The philosophy, wisdom, and ingenuity found in Kogei brings new insights for sustainability as we enter a new era.

    With an eye on such possibilities, Hokuriku elevates the spirit of Kogei to that of art and design. Let us share with you Kogei in Japan’s heartland of craftsmanship. In other words, "GO FOR KOGEI". Our goal is to provide both a broad and deep understanding of Kogei for guests from around Japan and the entire world who would visit Hokuriku in search of Japanese crafts.

Exploring GO FOR KOGEI

In Hokuriku, there are many areas where craft is thriving. Each region holds its own unique craft festivals. Find a region that interests you.

Each region produces different materials and styles of craft.
Find a studio that interests you.

From art to design, Kogei continues to expand its reach.
Which of its aspects appeals to you? Select a hashtag below:

Greetings

Supervisor/Curator Yuji Akimoto,
Professor and Director of The University Art Museum, Tokyo National University of Arts

The 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic has upended our previously privileged lives and disrupted our daily routines. Going out, chatting with friends and family, and even dining are severely restricted, as stifling as you might see in a post-apocalyptic B-flick.

It drives us to prioritize safety and security above all. And yet, when we consider how long this might yet continue, we begin to realize that restoring a sense of spiritual fulfillment in our daily lives has also become an important issue.

In Japan, we have the term, "coronavirus depression," for the effect of being mentally
overwhelmed after prolonged anxiety. Physical security is not enough; our emotional needs must also be satisfied. We need a life of joy, especially the kind of joy found in the ordinary.

And it is culture that adds definition to our lives. In emergencies such as this, culture is often neglected, yet, as the situation lingers, we are compelled to reevaluate it. Craftwork in its many forms has always been an art form closely connected with daily life. Take cuisine as an example: More than merely satiating hunger, the act of eating becomes all the more satisfying and pleasurable when presented aesthetically. It is the chef's skill at work. Likewise, shouldn't our living in such a time as this require us to rediscover the joy of craftwork and incorporate it into our lives?

Although "Go for Kogei" will not see all of its originally planned programs take place, we will still have many activities through which we will share all we love about kogei craftwork. Explore the craft festivals and studio tours us while practicing social distancing. Or, for those unable to visit in person, we offer a plethora of information on our website. In whichever way you choose to join us, physically or virtually, we hope you will "Go for Kogei."

Producer Jun Ura
Chairman of the Board of Directors, NPO Shuto Kanazawa

One of the most internationally well-recognized aspects of Japanese culture is that of kogei. In recent years, kogei-centered projects have increased in both number and media coverage.
As art and industry, this craftwork has always expressed regional characteristics, such as the traditional techniques, available materials, the environment's humidity and temperature, and even the reach of markets and trade. Hokuriku, known as "The Land of Excess," developed its crafts from the abundant resources in the surrounding mountains: clean water, minerals, rich soil and vegetation; and has since ancient times been active in overseas trade. With the extension of Japan's bullet train to Fukui Prefecture and the upcoming Olympics, how shall we share such diverse and high-quality craftwork both domestically and internationally? With "Go for Kogei."

Already, many unique craft festivals featuring pieces with local characteristics have sprung up in the Hokuriku region. Isn't it possible to connect them and provide a new way to showcase these products? Wouldn't it be marvelous to experience such a thing together in the very environment where the techniques were developed, materials gathered, and pieces created? As of this year, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have forgone it; however, we look forward to 2021 as we're planning exhibitions at regionally-representative culturally important venues.

Japan's notable soft power lies in its rural areas, where culture and traditions have been preserved for generation after generation. Each area is small in size and quite diverse, having developed its own culture and expression organically. And it is my hope that many people in Japan and from abroad can truly connect with kogei craft and with the Hokuriku area from which it's drawn.

Outline of GO FOR KOGEI 2020

In 2020, "Go for Kogei: Realize the Potential of Japanese Crafts in Hokuriku" will be held for the first time through 6 craft festivals, an art fair, and a studio and workshop tour, all in 7 cities in 3 prefectures of the Hokuriku region, both in person and online.
Let us share the many possibilities Kogei has to offer, including novelties and approaches to craft in a post-pandemic world.

  • Period

  • 2020. 8.29 sat – 11.15 sun + Online
    *some online contents will be updated and available for viewing after the period

  • Participation fee

  • Free of charge

  • Host Organizer

  • Hokuriku Kogei Platform Executive Committee

  • Secretariat

  • Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation Shuto Kanazawa

  • Co-organizers

  • Kanazawa 21st Century Craft Festival Executive Committee, KUTANism Executive Committee, Glass Festa (Toyama Glass Studio), Takaoka Craft Market Street Executive Committee, RENEW Executive Committee, Craft Fest Executive Committee
    Supervisor/Curator: Yuji Akimoto Director of The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
    Producer: Jun Ura, Chairman of the Board of Directors, NPO Shuto Kanazawa
    Chairperson: Kouta Marutani, Director of NPO Shuto Kanazawa, Assistant Professor of Kanazawa University
    Vice-Chairman Yukina Yasue, Director of NPO Shuto Kanazawa, Representative of Planning and Information Institute
    Secretary General: Hiroshi Usui, Director of Noetica inc.
    Creative Director: Katsuo Mizuguchi, President of Hotchkiss inc.
    WEB MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief: Naomi Kakiuchi, President of KAMADO

  • Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2020

  • sponsor