The history of traditional crafts in Japan is not only rich, but can be seen and appreciated today thanks to the dedicated artisans who have passed down their knowledge and technique through generations. Unfortunately, the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in the cancellation of many exhibits and events where craftsmen share and sell their products, as well as hindered motivation to craft them.

A new project called "Takumi New Standard" hopes to spin hope from the crisis, however, by calling on the talents of artisans and manufacturers in Kyoto to craft traditional items in response to the ongoing pandemic. The projective features a collective of five craftsmen in the fields of Noh theater masks, bamboo blinds, hat making, ceramics, and dress, turning their skills towards products that can be used in response to the coronavirus, as well as inspire new methods of using traditional crafts going forward.

Noh theater half-masks

This part of the project takes the classic design of masks featured in traditional Japanese Noh theater, and carves them into half versions to use as face masks. Because of the material and original structure, an extra level of detail is needed to fit them comfortably around the cheek and nose.

Sudare bamboo blind face shields

Sudare are traditional Japanese blinds or screens made of decorative bamboo. The inspiration behind them is a callback to some of the bamboo masks worn in the past. While perhaps not something you'd see on someone walking down the street, the project says they would fit right in at events like tea ceremony and weddings.

Denim plague mask

This plague mask was made possible by hat craftsmen who specialize in creating three-dimensional items from flat surfaces. 12-ounce Japanese denim is used to create a piece that becomes more expressive the more it is used. Recommended for cosplay events and interior design.

The project has also created mask hook hangers using Japanese ceramics and more modern denim masks.

The project is currently hosting a crowdfunding campaign. On the official website you can read about possible returns for contributing and ordering such as Noh masks and workshop tours.

By - Big Neko.