10:50 - 12:30
Session: S21
[Heritage] + Design
Historical Trajectories of Japanese Traditional Craft Industries from Meiji Era until Today
Japanese Traditional Craft Industries; Historical Overview; National Policies
Zhuya WU, Hironobu AOKI, Akira UEDA

This article is a preliminary study of how a new design mode can contribute to the promotion of traditional craft industries. It outlines the historical trajectories of Japanese traditional craft industries from the Meiji era until today and discusses how their development is directly and indirectly influenced by political ideology and national policies. As a result, the development can be divided into the following five periods: the first period runs throughout the Meiji era, when the household handicraft industry took the first step in modernisation reform. The second period spans the years from the Taishō era to the early Showa period, during which artistic handicrafts were independent of craft industries. The third period is from World War II to the post-war years of reconstruction, when industrial design parted ways with craft industries. The high economic growth period is considered the fourth due to the promulgation of relevant laws. The last period is from the collapse of the bubble economy until today, reflecting changes in Japan’s diplomatic strategies. In approximately 150 years, Japanese traditional craft industries have developed through a transformation towards mechanisation and industrialisation to finally return to traditional handmade crafts. Regarding to the fact that current design modes for the promotion of traditional craft industries are mostly shaped by the perspective of industrial design, it is necessary to find a new design mode to form anew living culture that integrates production with practical use, rather than stressing its high value on account of being handmade.