Introducing the 21st Century Takagamine Forum

The purpose of this forum is to pass down quality creative endeavors (monozukuri) to the next generation. For the duration of this forum, organizations endorsing this purpose and participating in our collaborative efforts will hold a diverse range of events based on their own unique perspective as forum-related projects. The setting for the third forum, Ishikawa/Kanazawa, offers a rich variety of innovative and traditional kogei, which roughly translated means “craft”. The area is home to various kogei production regions, a number of globally-respected museums, educational institutions that have produced countless kogei creators, as well as captivating restaurants, hotels, and inns that prominently feature kogei. The very best All-Ishikawa team members will assemble at this festive forum.

At the same time, a variety of study groups, symposiums, and roundtable conferences featuring experts from across Japan will also be held. Enabled by the extensive scale of our collaborative network, we will build a dynamic framework for the future. This year we are focusing on two key themes: Traditions and the Contemporary Era and Kogei and Tourism. By leveraging the expertise and experience of the people of Ishikawa/Kanazawa and those who have made the pioneering efforts towards the preservation and promotion of their crafts, we will build the foundation for Kogei-Focused Tourism. By developing these ideas and promoting them across the country, we will ensure that future generations will refer to 2017 as the turning point for Kogei-Focused Tourism in Japan.

Partner organizations:
Organizations implementing forum-related projects involving Ishikawa prefecture:
Number of forum-related projects:

This forum is a platform for action, with each member committed to identifying and implementing solutions to the challenges facing kogei––until now unsolvable through individual efforts––with the strengths of multi-sector collaboration, cooperative efforts involving all genres, and the All-Japan team.
The primary three goals of the 21st Century Takagamine Forum are:
1) to increase the number of proficient kogei creators as well as adept kogei appreciators.
2) to provide support for creators and enable them to continue creating quality works.
3) to implement initiatives to reintroduce kogei as a fixture in the lives of contemporary Japanese people, and of people around the world.

In collaboration with various organizations in Kyoto and Tokyo, we will hold study groups, workshops, and symposiums during the third forum, and plan to release our Ishikawa/Kanazawa Proposal at the roundtable conference to be held on November 26, 2017, the final day of the forum.

2015 Forum: Kyoto

Unprecedented Collaboration in the Field of Kogei
Thinking about kogei 100 years from now, people began to take the imperative action of the present: i.e., activities to form a collaborative network that goes beyond the existing frameworks.

For the first time, museums, educational institutions, department stores, galleries, and a wide range of other organizations involved in kogei formed a collaborative network. The necessity to implement promotional projects targeting the next generation and to re-build the relationship between kogei and contemporary life was discussed. In the Kyoto Proposal, the forum called for collaborative efforts to produce proficient kogei creators and adept kogei appreciators throughout society and made proposals setting the path to establish systems for providing continuous support for the materials and tools indispensable for monozukuri.

2016 Forum: Tokyo

The 21st Century Style of Life with Kogei and Japan Kogei Week Proposed
This forum was held in collaboration with 111 organizations from across Tokyo, an area where kogei items from all over Japan are gathered and consumed. Effective ways of communicating the importance of kogei to the next generation were archived through the Children’s Kogei Workshop Collection, with plans to roll these out across Japan. Numerous initiatives were implemented, including various projects for taking steps to revive the materials and tools on the brink of extinction and overcoming the barriers to internationalizing kogei. At the roundtable conference held on the final day, an active discussion on “21st Century Life with Kogei” was held, resulting with the specific proposal for establishing Japan Kogei Week.

2017 Forum: Ishikawa/Kanazawa

The Inaugural Year of Kogei-Focused Tourism – Introducing Kogei to the World
With “Traditions and the Contemporary Era: Essence & Discoveries” as the core theme, large-scale collaborative kogei events will be held, including sample exhibitions of contemporary and traditional kogei collections.
This forum will feature promotional projects targeting children, seminars on sophisticated appreciation of kogei, and a symposium on tea ceremony and kogei.
We will start building the base for attracting foreign tourists, implementing initiatives to overcome the barriers to internationalizing kogei, and creating translation rules for translating kogei-related texts into English. As our proposal for casually enjoying kogei, we will hold the first kogei picnic. In addition, an international conference on Kogei and Tourism will be held.

Kyoto Proposal

This proposal was released on December 6, 2015, the last day of the 21st Century Takagamine Forum in Kyoto at the roundtable conference held at Kyoto International Conference Center.

We recognize that Japan’s kogei items are world-class crafts. Acting on our concerns about the current fragile situation surrounding all elements supporting the appeal of kogei, the participants of the 21st Century Takagamine Forum will take this opportunity to being initiatives to overcome the current challenges facing kogei. We hereby make three proposals for preserving kogei over the next century.

– Proficient kogei creators and adept kogei appreciators are essential for enabling our country to continue producing quality kogei items through the next 100 years. Together with museums, research institutions, universities, and other educational institutions that share the ambition of producing proficient kogei creators––especially young creators––we will strive together to increase educational and experience-based opportunities to convey the sensitivity required for enjoying kogei, kogei-related stories, and the various usages of kogei to enable as many people as possible to acquire skills for sophisticated appreciation of kogei.

– As the capital of kogei and the hub with the highest concentration of materials and tools desired by creators, techniques and skills, and information on those elements, Kyoto will take this opportunity to start collaborating with various other production regions. We will strive to secure precious tools, materials, techniques, and skills so that new creators will still be emerging 100 years from now.

– Through collaborative and cooperative efforts, we will continue initiatives for ensuring the longevity of kogei over the next 100 years. In order to develop and vitalize these activities, we need the understanding and cooperation of a wide range of individuals and the support of relevant government ministries and agencies, local public organizations, and businesses. In accordance with this, we will appeal for support in various forms.

Tokyo Proposal

This proposal was released on January 29, 2017, the last day of the 21st Century Takagamine Forum in Tokyo at the roundtable conference held at TOKYO MIDTOWN.

With the participation of more than 100 organizations, the 21st Century Takagamine Forum in Tokyo featured over 300 events. The forum served as an opportunity to communicate the appeals of kogei in a concentrated manner from Tokyo, one of the major kogei consuming areas. Building on these achievements, we hereby make the following four proposals for facilitating activities to revitalize kogei.

– We propose the establishment of Japan Kogei Week for the continuous preservation and development of Japan’s world-class crafts. During this week, people will be encouraged to appreciate, use, and enjoy kogei items in daily life in their own way similarly to how people currently use special plates, bowls, and cups for the New Year’s celebration, festivals, and traditional annual events. To bring this proposal to fruition, we will approach the Japanese government and other relevant organizations.

– With the coming of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, creating methods for conveying the appeal of kogei to foreigners should be a top priority. Let us implement measures for facilitating kogei-related communication in foreign languages, including the task of creating appealing yet easy-to-understand stories for the purpose of promoting inbound tourism utilizing kogei, kogei shopping in Japan, and the export of kogei.

– Many providers of materials and tools vital to kogei activities have been increasingly going out of business; as a result, all people involved in kogei are faced with a difficult situation. Most notably, it is expected that creators will start having trouble obtaining materials and tools in just a few years. There is a dire need to create systems for enabling next generation creators to use the tools and materials currently possessed by the suppliers that have gone out of business. Let us work together to make this a reality through cooperative and collaborative efforts among relevant organizations of all fields.

– Building on the proposal emphasized in the Kyoto Proposal, let us continue our efforts to increase educational and experience-based opportunities for increasing proficient kogei users and adept kogei appreciators. In particular, let us further enhance the archive of educational diffusion methods collected through the Children’s Kogei Workshop Collection held in Tokyo and implement activities to encourage the use of these methods throughout Japan. Let us hold the next forum in Ishikawa/Kanazawa this fall and expand our activities globally.