Japan Handmade

The Art of ‘I to We.’

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There are fourteen generations and 300 years of craftsmanship behind Kyoto-based traditional okashi-ya (sweet shop) Kagizen Yoshifusa. Established in the mid-Edo period, the company makes sweets not just for taste, but to connect those who consume them; current owner Zenya Imanishi—like his ancestors—sought to understand how customers both eat and interact with their product.

This weekend, Imanishi along with three other Japanese master craftsmen who are each masters in their own distinct trades, have come to Vancouver to discuss the concept of “I to We” through a public lecture and workshops series at Inform Interiors. Other workshops cover materials including wire, wood, and metal.

“It’s not just confectionary,” Imanishi says of his candy. “It’s a tool that we create to connect people to people. That’s my representation of the ‘I to We’ concept in my craftsmanship. It’s about the connection between maker and consumer, host and guest.”

All four men hope their visit will deliver an understanding of Japanese culture and values, “so that it can be bestowed amongst the people here,” Imanishi says.

“This can not be expressed by a single person, only a group of people. We want to share not just our objects, but also a common feeling.”

Workshops run today and tomorrow at Inform Interiors, 50 Water Street. 10:30am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-3:30pm, and 4:00pm-5:30pm. 10 spots available per session. $65.00 per person.


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June 7, 2019