In the world of Japanese traditional arts and crafts, only those who have devoted themselves to the transmission of the arts can receive the title of “Traditional Master Craftsman. This honor is granted by the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry only to those who excel in the skills and knowledge required to be a true specialist of craftwork. The practical and written examinations for the title of Traditional Master Craftsman are extremely difficult, and the people holding this honorable title are very few.
|Takeko Okayama: Japan’s first female master craftsperson.
October of the year 2005 saw the second time she was recognized for her superior skills when she was labeled as the top craftsperson in Kyoto, Japan.
She loves to create kimonos full of of dreams, and so she is happiest when she is looking at a blank piece of fabric. She holds solo exhibits throughout Japan.
You may meet her in town.
|Kozo Okayama: Chairman of Okayama Kougei. Together with Takeko, they are the first couple who was recognized as traditional arts and crafts Master in Japan.
Like Takeko, Kozo has won many awards at numerous exhibits.
|Fujio Takahashi has a charismatic hand with a paintbrush that leaves a lasting impression on those who view his work. He has had a fondness for art from a very young age, having grown up with an artist father. He is a musician as well.
Takahashi specializes in the Yuzen style of dyeing – a gradation method imported from western China that was commonly used in Buddhist pictures, temple ornaments, etc., during the Nara and Heian Periods.