The future of Japanese craftsmanship
Advertisement – skip in 5
The master craftsman: Shimada Takayuki
The unassuming Shimada Gama workshop in Gotsu doubles up as an open-air museum of traditional stoneware pottery. It specialises in creating large pieces that are burnt in a sloped wood-fired kiln. We talk to the 73-year-old master Shimada Takayuki about the challenges of passing the rare skill and aesthetic sensibility down to his son and grandson.
The talent-seeker: Ryutaro Yoshida
Japanese company Time & Style knows how to inject innovative spirit into traditional crafts. Over the past two decades its founder Ryutaro Yoshida has criss-crossed Japan to woo reluctant artisans to collaborate on modern designs. We meet him in the remote region of Shimane as he develops a series of handmade washi paper lamps.
The international icon: Kengo Kuma
The beauty of Japanese design has won fans around the world but it takes great panache to translate it to large-scale projects. We sit down with architect Kengo Kuma in his Tokyo office to talk about the recently completed Japan National Stadium. It’s a building that has given a new lease of life to traditional craftsmanship and stimulated local economies.
The bold business owner: Takeshi Yamanaka
In 1928 Maruni Wood Industry was born out of a fascination with the masterful carpentry in ancient shrines. Today its furniture is found in the Californian headquarters of Apple as well as airport lounges, galleries and restaurants around the world. We meet the company’s president to talk about the challenges of managing a family-run business.
The Monocle guide to Tokyo
Tokyo is an ever-changing city that never ceases to surprise. The capital is filled with a dazzling mix of old and new, tradition and innovation in everything from food to architecture and art to fashion. Let us show you around.
How you give a gift matters (almost) as much as what’s inside. A carefully cocooned present shows that you care about the recipient and understand that the ritual of wrapping matters. Here are a few ideas about how to effortlessly present even the most oddly shaped treats.
The art of hosting
As part of our partnership with LG SIGNATURE, we speak to five experts about what it takes to become the consummate host in five steps – including curating the perfect guest list, creating a welcoming environment and offering an exquisite food and drinks menu.
State of the nation
In this animated series we assess how countries are performing on the world stage as well as at home. From their soft-power assets to their economy, we look at the latest achievements and what mars their potential progress.
Monocle travel guides
Join us for a filmic tour of the cities that make up our latest book releases. From Singapore’s retail to Honolulu’s architecture and design, the club scene of Berlin to the hushed backstreets of Kyoto, we uncover the lesser-known gems in the cities we love.
We take stock of inspiring retailers around the globe who haven’t given up good old bricks and mortar. We sniff pristine stationery, savour delicate tea, touch the finest clothes and explore neighbourhoods where quality retail has brought a new lease of life.
Whether you want to perfect a skill or just power up your imagination, our ‘Secret to...’ series features a line-up of episodes to keep you inspired. From buying a painting and throwing a dinner party to running a restaurant and opening a bike shop, here’s how we like to see things done.