JTCO strives for inheritance, creation and development of Japanese traditional culture.

JTCOJapanese Traditional Culture Promotion&Development Organization
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Message from JTCO

A message from Japan Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization

Translation: Monica Shingaki

Thank you for your interest in the traditional Japanese arts.

We are a nonprofit organization aiming to preserve and promote the age-old Japanese traditional culture as well as regional subcultures, with the slogan: “Exploring the concept of Wa, in search of true wealth” since 2009. Wa has many meanings: it is an ancient name for Japan, the Japanese language, and the Japanese culture in general as opposed to foreign cultures. “Wa” is also defined as harmony, peace, and conformity.

Traditionally, Japanese people produced and manufactured in harmony with the environment, becoming part of the ecosystem, and preserved the beautiful nature of the satoyama woodlands. Beautifully crafted objects with regards to functionality, form, and color, were cherished in its use; even a single piece of paper was reused exhaustively. People found meaning in the seasonal changes of nature, and often captured it in form of songs, literature, motif designs, and paintings. Additionally, the fear and gratitude for nature and the gods gave rise to festivals and the performing arts dedicated to shrines and temples, enriching communities throughout the year.

The Meiji Restoration of the mid-19th century was an exceptional revolution in which Japan abandoned Feudalism and began its modernization; the old social systems, conventions, and values were completely overturned. On one hand, it freed its people from social classes and old fogeyism, bringing the country to center stage in world history. But on the other hand, the wisdom gained from thousand-plus years of living in unity with nature, the customs, philosophy, and aesthetics, are all being forgotten.

In the 21st century, the trend has leaned towards products that are safe and conscious of environmental and resource issues, all while expressing personalized style. In a time where many jobs are replaced by machines, the importance of human sensibility and creativity has become a popular discussion. Unable to find meaningfulness in achieving efficiency and convenience, the young generation, dubbed the Digital Natives, is returning to low-tech in an effort to find fulfillment in real-life experiences.

Our organization aims to find answers to such yearnings in the modern society, within the traditional “Wa” culture. We hope to find values and beauty that are universally appreciated, share it with the world--regardless of culture and creed, and pass them on to future generations. Our work is really a journey to find such goodness and beauty. If you wish to join us in this journey, we encourage you to get involved by supporting and participating in the organization’s activities.

July 2016
Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization
Noriko Osaka / President

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