Home > Hot topics
Bjorn Heiberg, the “Savior of the Japanese Knife”

Razor-sharp Japanese wabōchō, chef’s knives created by skilled master craftsmen, are essential to the preparation of washoku. Bjorn Heiberg, who runs knife specialty stores in Osaka and Tokyo, fell in love with wabōchō after coming to Japan, and is spreading the good word about these remarkable knives to the rest of the world.

“Washi” (Japanese Paper)

Washi, or handmade Japanese paper, is still produced in every part of Japan. In 2014, UNESCO inscribed three of the most important washi traditions in its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Japanese Indigo, a Living Tradition

Aizome textiles, prized by the Sengoku samurai for their hygienic benefits as well as their beautiful "Japan blue" color, are the product of a complex and time-consuming process in which human know-how and natural phenomena play equally important roles. Our correspondent traveled to Tokushima, once a thriving center of indigo dyeing, for a hands-on lesson in this living tradition.

Turning Things Around for Japanese Companies: An Interview with Komatsu’s Sakane Masahiro

As part of its “Abenomics” program, the government recently launched a growth strategy designed to get the country’s economy moving again. Former Komatsu president Sakane Masahiro was one of the advisors on the government panel that helped to draw up the plan. We spoke to him about the impact of Abenomics and the challenges facing the Japanese economy.

Manga Artist Brings Bushidō Spirit to FranceLaurent Lefebvre

Every summer France hosts the Japan Expo to showcase Japanese pop culture. In 2012, the martial-arts manga artist Saruwatari Tetsuya attended the event. In this article, we spotlight his visit.

Traditional Crafts in the Modern Day

The city of Sumida in Tokyo has a history of craftsmanship and light industry dating back to the seventeenth century. That influence remains strong even today. We look at a selection of the area’s shops, all of which have an original take on traditional techniques and crafts.

Mitaka Kohki: From Outer Space to the Operating TheaterKikuchi Masanori

A small company with just 50 employees, Mitaka Kohki has developed a camera used by NASA and enjoys a 50% share of the market for neurosurgical microscopes. We take a look at the secrets behind the company’s success.

Kita Toshiyuki: Designs for a Better Japan

Kita Toshiyuki is an award-winning product designer whose work fuses Japanese traditions with a contemporary, cosmopolitan sensibility. We talked to him about the characteristics of Japanese design and its potential to restore an ailing economy.

The Deep Beauty of Lacquer Ware (Photos)Ōhashi Hiroshi (Photographer)

Ōnishi Isao has been designated a living national treasure for his work in lacquer ware. The painstaking process of applying lacquer and polishing the surface over and over again results in objects of profound, quiet beauty.

Lasting Popularity for a Tough Watch

Nearly three decades after the 1983 launch of the G-Shock series, Casio has put its watches on wrists in the world’s mountains, seas, skies, and streets. By pairing functional durability with awareness of youth culture and fashion, G-Shock’s creators have achieved a lasting hit series.

Video highlights

New series

  • From our columnists
  • In the news