Japan Picks 150 People as Contemporary Crafts Masters


Tokyo, Nov. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's labor ministry said Friday that it has selected 150 people including a tatami mat artisan and a knife forger as contemporary crafts masters for their outstanding skills.

They will be commended in a ceremony in Tokyo on Monday.

Katsuhiro Yoshida, 63, of Fukushima Prefecture was highly evaluated for circle-shaped tatami mats made with his sophisticated hand-sewing techniques, and Muneo Fukuda, 69, of Okinawa Prefecture for advertising art, such as hand-painted advertisements. Their ages were as of Monday.

Shigeo Fukiage, 71, of Kyoto Prefecture has developed a unique technique to apply gold leaf and other materials to "washi" Japanese paper. The processed paper is used to make "obi" belts for kimono and other products.

The oldest winner of the title was Tokutaro Inasaka, 88, of Chiba Prefecture, who forges knives using techniques from the Edo period, which ran from the 17th to late 19th centuries.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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