HCA trustee Greta Bertram is off for 3 weeks traveling in Japan. Greta's first degree was in Japanese and her MA in the intangible heritage of craft, she will be visiting friends in Japan but also doing some traveling and hoping to visit traditional craft workshops. The Japanese have been at the forefront of recognising traditional crafts as part of their heritage for 70 years. The mingei movement was led by Soetsu Yanagi and Shoji Hamada.
This eventually fed into government support, the declaration of "national living treasures" and the formation of The Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries
this Japan atlas shows the range of traditional crafts practiced in Japan.
Greta is hoping that whilst traveling and staying in youth hostels she may be able to have web access and update us on her trip but if not I am sure we can look forward to sharing pictures when she is back.
August is perhaps not the best time of year to visit Japan, I was there last August working on an exchange project alongside temple carpenters building a traditional tea house. In August it can be incredibly hot and humid. It is however a real insight into how craft could be regarded differently in the UK and HCA are working hard to bring that change about.