Arts & Crafts

There is no clear distinctions between arts and crafts in Japan. They both a continuous blend of traditions and influences from other oriental countries, mostly China and Korea.

Straw can be used in constructions as well as in weaving of useful objects like ropes, boots, dresses and hats.
Rice straw can be also processed into paper, which is used for lanterns, partition walls or various objects.

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Most of the Japanese sculptures derived from the idol worship inshinto and Buddhism.
Jizō (God of Mercy) is one of Buddha’s main attendants and is one of the most popular modern deities in Japan. He is venerated as the guardian of unborn, aborted or miscarried babies. Jizō statues are commonly found in Japanese graveyards.
Little Jizo statues are usually clothed in small bibs, adorned with toys, wearing tiny hats, protected by scarfs, and piled with tiny stones offered by sorrowing parents as aprayer. Parents cloth the Jizo statues in hopes that Jizo will clothe the dead child in his protection.

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The Japanese modern scultures are a mix of Western concepts and Buddist ideas. Outdoor sculptures becamr fashionable after the famous Hakone Open-Air Museum opened in 1969. Cities and architects support outdoor sculptures for parks, plazas and major urban buildings.
The Hakone Open-Air Museum has over 300 works by Picasso, a large collection of sculptues by Henry Moore, Rodin, Bourdelle, Miro and much more.

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