Support the Fight for Cultural Survival. I am collaborating directly with local craftspeople in Wajima and the Wajima Lacquerware Chamber of Commerce to raise awareness. Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Accredited local shops like Senshudo and Taya Shikkiten are actively involved, and many more are joining the cause.
Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fire: A Tragedy Beyond Measure
On January 1, 2024, a catastrophic magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Ishikawa, followed by a devastating tsunami and widespread fires. Wajima, the heart of lacquerware craftsmanship, faced unprecedented destruction.
The disaster didn't just ravage buildings and streets; it shattered the very foundation of the Wajima Lacquerware industry. The local Wajima-lacquerware craftspeople, including Taya Shikkiten, have lost everything, including their homes, workplaces, shops, tools, and years of unfinished and finished masterpieces, all lost in an instant. The once-vibrant Wajima Morning Market, operational for over 1,000 years, now lies in ruins. Many saw their workplace destroyed, and their newly under-construction gallery burned down.
- Traveling through ground zero of Japan’s earthquake zone - NBC News article
- Drone video shows scale of Japan earthquake devastation - NBC News
Cultural Importance: Preserving the Intangible
Wajima Lacquerware is more than a traditional art and craft; it's an Intangible Cultural Property of Japan, dating back more than 400 years. It involves more than 100 meticulous production steps. Originally, it was commonly used as household lacquerware for important ceremonial occasions due to its solid and sturdy nature. Today, it has developed more artistic connotations, thanks to the decorating techniques with graceful gold and silver designs.
Supporting Wajima craftspeople now is critical for the inheritance and development of Japan's lacquer culture.
The Critical Need for Intervention
Before the earthquake, Wajima's lacquerware industry was already facing challenges—a decreasing population in Japan, an aging society, and a shortage of successors. This disaster could be the final blow that extinguishes this culture and craft. The emotional toll is immeasurable too. We stand at a crucial juncture - act now, or lose a pivotal piece of Japan's cultural identity.
We are collaborating with accredited and registered Wajima lacquerware craftspeople. Wajima Lacquerware Chamber of Commerce, Sensudo and Taya Shikkiten are actively involved, and many more are joining the cause.
We want to to help revive their industry, ensuring their culture and heritage continue to thrive. Please help us in the Rebuilding and Revival of Wajima Lacquerware.
Your Impact: How Your Donation Makes a Difference
Your donation will be used to fund craftspeople in need and a culture at risk.
Your contributions will:
- Restore Workplaces: Rebuild workshops, creating spaces for creativity and tradition to flourish.
- Support Craftspeople: Provide Necessary financial support for craftspeople in need to get back on their feet.
- Procure Materials: Acquire essential materials for craftspeople to resume their meticulous work.
- Revitalizing Commerce: Assisting craftspeople to bring their unique creations to wider markets.
- Train the Next Generation: Invest in training and development, crucial for the art form's survival and evolution.
We will continue to adjust our fundraiser goal as needs evolve.
The more we raise, the more we'll be able to help—particularly with the longer-term impacts and special needs.
Please donate and pass this page along to your friends, family, coworkers, and community members.
Your donation represents hope. It goes beyond rebuilding physical structures; it helps reignite a craftspeople's spirit.
Progress Update and Transparency
We pledge to ensure that every contribution made is utilized effectively and transparently for the revival of Wajima Lacquerware. We will provide regular updates on the progress of the rebuilding efforts. Transparency is key, and we want you to see the impact of your contributions.
This campaign is spearheaded by individuals directly or indirectly connected to the lacquerware industry, including Senshudo Japan and Save Japan Crafts. More will join the effort.
FAQs: Your Questions Answered
- Where will the funds go?: We are actively searching for credible recipients who can best utilize the funds to restore the tradition and culture of Wajima Lacquerware. We'd like to send the funds to those who have a strong, direct influence on the industry such as 輪島漆器商工業協同組合. We strive to be the most transparent fundraiser for the Noto Peninsula earthquake.
- Is Japan Supported on GoFundMe?: No, Japan is not currently supported on GoFundMe. Our plan is to initiate the fundraiser in the US, and then the organizer will deliver the funds to the beneficiary in Japan.
- How Else Can I Support?: Spreading awareness through social media and word-of-mouth is a fantastic form of support! Additionally, please send us a note if you are interested in getting deeply involved or contributing to this project.
Donate today. Together, we can turn the tide for Wajima's craftspeople and their work.