The Global Kougei

Our Mission

"Craft" is a carrier of national histories, as well as a foundation of culture, art, and industry. The crafts of Japan, referred to collectively as "kougei," have been lovingly fostered and their techniques carefully handed down through centuries of development. The term "monozukuri" refers to the creation of meaningful physical objects embodying an artisanal spirit, and this approach, long inherent in Japanese craftsmanship, has come to be appreciated not only in Japan but internationally as well. Further, the preservation, restoration, and research activities carried out on historical Japanese craft objects at the Shosōin Treasure Repository and numerous other institutions have by now confirmed that such objects offer invaluable windows into art and culture, both in Japan and for other societies abroad.

Japanese members of The Global Kougei have been involved in a range of activities, both in Japan and abroad, from exhibitions and workshops to publishing, that aim to promote the power and appeal of Japanese crafts to the larger world. At the same time, through ongoing efforts to bring world culture and arts to Japan’s creative craft studios, we have succeeded in offering opportunities for people like up-and-coming artists and researchers to have real and lasting engagement with craft.

These interactions have generated strong interest in "discovering more about Japanese culture and art," and in "using the power of craft to enrich people’s lives." At the same time, while in Japan there have been efforts to create exchanges among craftsmen working in different mediums, materials and genres, or among members of different craft exhibition organizations, these have largely been limited to domestic Japanese circles, and there have been few opportunities to engage the larger international craft community in the same kinds of exchange activities.

歴史 技術 精神

We have founded The Global Kougei Exchange with the aim of creating true bilateral and multilateral international exchange while maintaining the continuity inherent to individual crafts.

It is our understanding that craft comes to us as a gift of human wisdom and insight, and our mission is to find opportunities to promote this understanding as widely and deeply as possible to the benefit of future generations through the following types of activities:

  • Introduce Japanese crafts to the wider world.
  • Introduce excellent crafts from abroad to Japan.
  • Embrace and support the activities of craft-related artists and academics, both in Japan and abroad.

The activities promoted by this Institute aim to foster a mutually deeper, richer understanding of culture and art, and we believe these will contribute importantly to the ongoing construction of a more peaceful world.

The Global Kougei Exchange

No. 313 Dormi Gotanda Deux Maison 8-10-2, Nishigotanda, Shingawa,
Tokyo, 141-0031 JAPAN

Operational Objectives

  • Plan, manage and implement craft-related exchange exhibitions and other events in Japan and abroad.
  • Plan and implement lectures, workshops, and seminars with recognized experts and specialists in specific craft genres.
  • Utilize our website, social networking, and other communication tools to promote our mission widely, both in Japan and abroad, and to share information on craft, artists and exhibitions, both in Japanese and English.
  • Create and maintain a database of craft artists and craft works in Japan and abroad.
  • Publicly recognize and honor craft artists in Japan and abroad.
  • Hold seminars and lectures for Institute members.


Board of Directors (alphabetical order in Japanese)

Dr. Yoshie Itani,
D.Phil (Oxon)
Tokyo University of the Arts: Global Support Center, Project Professor
Isao Onda
GTM Research Institute, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Public Tax Accountant
Motoi Kato
Former Ambassador of Japan to Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea,
and São Tomé and Príncipe
Saitama University Advisor & Guest Professor
Africa Society of Japan Special Researcher
Kenji Suda
Director of the Japan Kōgei Association
Intangible Cultural Treasure Holder
Wood Crafter
Jun Fujita
chairperson of the Japan Glass Artcrafts Association
Arisumi Mitamura
Tokyo University of the Arts: Assistant to the president
director of International Exchange Office
Urushi Department professor
urushi artist


Dr. Mabi Katayama, Ph, D.
in Korean art history,
Seoul National University
Tokyo University of the Arts:
Associate professor in Asian ceramics history and Korean arts history
一般社団法人 国際工芸交流機構
© 2020 The Global Kougei Exchange All Rights Reserved.