Japanese Anime x Japanese Traditional Crafts

Hands are shown, and held and carved in the hands is an anime figurine.

Japanese anime is not only for kids

When first learning what the words “TGI Fridays” stand for, I was so glad to know that many people even outside Japan have hard time surviving weekdays. At the same time, another question came up in my mind: do they also feel depression on Sunday evening the same as me? I looked into it right away and found good English words to express the feeling: Sunday Scaries. For your information, the Sunday evening depression is expressed “Sazae-san Syndrome” in Japanese. Sazae-san is the longest-running animated TV series, broadcast every Sunday evening since 1969. From this fact, you can also see how common it is to watch animated TV shows in Japan, not only for kids but also for adults.

Even adults can enjoy “Attack on Titan”

Conforming to the recent trend, I rarely watch any TV shows, though a TV itself stands in the center of my living room just like in the good old days. Instead, what I usually watch on the TV is YouTube videos and programs on Amazon Prime Video. Last year, I got into an animated program on Amazon Prime Video, of which title is “Attack on Titan.” Some of you might think animated shows are crappy, but I think “Attack on Titan” is worthy of admiration even by adults and is completely different from kids cartoons simply depicting the world of right and wrong.

Japanese anime is highly compatible with Japanese traditional crafts

As you might know better than I do, Japanese animations are very popular across the world nowadays, forming another big market different (independent) from Disney (and its subsidiaries: Marvel and Pixar). “Attack on Titan” is one of the blockbusters. The comic books have sold more than 100 million copies so far. I believe the animation industry could be a key industry for the Japanese economy to survive. Some sharp-eyed marketers have already noticed that, and been realizing many collaboration works between animation characters and Japanese traditional crafts. Of course, “Attack on Titan” has collaborated with some traditional crafts such as glass art, pottery, etc.

In this regard, there’s a pioneer company I want to introduce. It’s PREMICO, planning, developing, and selling collaboration products between animation characters and Japanese traditional crafts. The ace marketer of the company is so funny (interesting). She always makes all the directors read the comic books she wants to collaborate with, in order to build their sense of attachment to the characters. What I like best about her approach is to emphasize Japanese traditional crafts as well as animation characters in their collaboration products. Their respect to Japanese traditional crafts is real. I hope someday they will make a collaboration offer to us.

A corporate logo, the letters of C and H are combined to look like a tree in a circle

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.