By David Gill
Attendees at the International Home + Housewares Show will see the signs of a remarkable comeback.
A featured presentation at the show will be the Japan Pavilion Tohoku, which at this year’s show will be dedicated to 10 manufacturers from the three prefectures in Northeast Japan that were the hardest hit by last year’s earthquake and tsunami: Iwate, Myagi and Fukushima. Their product categories range from wood and lacquer creations to cast-iron cookware and glassware.
The pavilion will be sponsored by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japanese government’s trade arm. A coincidence about the pavilion is that March 11, the second day of the show, will be the first anniversary of the disaster, which killed more than 15,000 people and cost hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage.
Atsushi Semimoto, executive director of business development and public relations with JETRO New York, said, “Despite the scale of the disaster, all of our exhibitors have shown the courage to pick their lives back up, re-energize their companies and look to new markets.”
Visitors to the pavilion will see much more aside from the evidence of the manufacturers’ return from the disaster. They will also view examples of Japanese craftsmanship in housewares. As a joint statement from JETRO and the International Housewares Association, owner and producer of the show, stated, “Made in Japan” home furnishings are known for their elegant simplicity, sophisticated design and detailed craftsmanship.
The Tohoku region, for which the pavilion is named, has a particularly deep history in craftsmanship. The statement noted that Japan is known for the Mingei design movement, which focuses on Japanese folk craft and the beauty of everyday objects.