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  • Writer's pictureStone Bridge Press

Preserving and nourishing Japanese crafts with JapanCraft21 Director, Steve Beimel

Steve Beimel, a long-time resident of Kyoto, is the driving force behind Japan Craft 21, whose goal is to preserve and nourish Japanese crafts. Here he discusses the variety and significance of crafts in Japan and what makes them so special. 

“The crafts of Japan are an international treasure that have enriched and inspired people around the world for hundreds of years.”--Steve Beimel

Topics include

  • What is JapanCraft21 and its mission?

  • Why are traditional Japanese crafts dying?

  • The challenge of preserving traditional crafts today

  • The Japanese vs. foreign perspectives on traditional japanese crafts

  • How JapanCraft21 approaches promoting and preserving Japanese crafts

  • Tourism in Kyoto and Japan today; is it crowded as people say? (Hint: now is a great time to come to Japan!)



A Japanophile for over thirty years, Steve Beimel founded Esprit Travel & Tours in the early 1990's, as a U.S.-based tour company specializing in culturally focused tours to Japan and catering to enthusiasts of the arts. Over the years, he has worked with a wide range of masters of traditional culture including art, crafts, architecture, gardens, music, theater, cuisine and religion. "The most fulfilling part of my Japan-related life is working with so many amazing and talented men and women. It has been a great privilege for me to introduce guests from abroad to these people, in a true spirit of cultural exchange." For ten years Steve published the The Kyoto Diary, a quarterly journal celebrating the arts of Japan and featuring interviews with many of the Japan's renowned craftsmen and artists. He now lives with his wife Ritsuko in the northern foothills of Kyoto.

For further information, see this article about Steve Beimel in All About Japan.

Peter Goodman is publisher of Stone Bridge Press in Berkeley, California, which for over thirty years has specialized in books on Asia, especially Japan and China. For a complete list of Stone Bridge Press books, visit



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