Shop Etsy

Shop Local: Japan

May 13, 2010

by AKjapan handmade and vintage goods


The members of the growing Etsy Japan Team display a wide range of influences. Some members live under the bright lights of urban Tokyo or Osaka and others in the lush countryside. Japanese arts and crafts encompass much more than kawaii and cosplay, incorporating the juxtaposition of tradition and innovation in Japanese life and culture. This beautiful contrast is evident in the shops of Japanese Etsians, whose work ranges from classical ceramics to contemporary textiles, from abstract painting to alien paper-cuts!



Tokyo Tower by AKjapan                                               

Andrea Kobayashi, a.k.a. AKjapan

The town where I live is industrial, yet there are small areas reserved for displays of spring brilliance and natural forms. Next to this park is the main plant for Sanyo. The close proximity of such contrasting scenes in Japan always fascinates me. This is very different from my native Australia. The tensions that result from being both a local resident and foreign inhabitant find their way into my art.


Paco by AYMK

Ayumi Kinoshita, a.k.a. AMYK

I live in Osaka. In the background is the Osaka castle. This castle was built at the turn of the 15th century, and is one of the popular tourist destinations in Japan. It has been burned down twice during wars, but rebuilt and there is now a large public urban park. In the spring, there are many people who come to see the cherry blossoms. I always enjoy walking my dog and seeing the tourists.


Arikui Abduction 01 by planetplatonic

Mayuko Fujino, a.k.a planetplatonic

This photo was taken at a salvage yard in Chidori Kawasaki, my favorite industrial district near Tokyo. I’m in love with the colors of ruins and rust there. Some of the imaginary scenic images in my sci-fi pop story
“Arikui Abduction” are based on the landscapes around there.



Vintage kimono 480 from togei and Peace keeper bowl 701 by Nanbanceramics

Dave Pike, a.k.a. Togei and Nanbanceramics

I have been in Japan for about 16 years. My main focus is making ceramics and firing them in one of two large wood burning kilns. It is a challenging and interesting form of traditional Japanese craft. I live in Nara, Japan, which is full of history. I especially like walking around the Nara-machi part of the city. It is an old merchant area, full of galleries and restaurants. I like to go to antique and kimono auctions — I get all of the items for my Etsy vintage shop at these auctions.



Naturally Dyed Silk/Wool Yarn, Indigo 5 by barefootshepherdess

Yuki Sugashima, a.k.a. barefootshepherdess

I live in the middle of Saitama Prefecture, just at the junction where urban meets natural. Here in the town of Higashimatsuyama, there’s a surprising amount of nature even within the crowded urban environment.  Step just beyond the town center, and things become rural and hilly very quickly. Walking paths connect many of these scenic spots as the town’s official sport is walking, an interest shared by our sister town of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. This spot is one of my favorites — there’s a river that runs by here, and the banks are rich with possible dye plants. It’s a great place to restore the spirit and inspire the mind as well as gather things for the dyepot.


Nautical Little Boys Messenger Bag By meeabee

Jacqui Miyabashi, a.k.a. meeabee

Our local park is so inspirational for me. It is a peaceful green oasis in a busy city. It’s very tranquil despite large numbers of visitors and I can indulge in my favourite pastime — people watching. Of course I mainly watch the little people since I make things for kids!



Lavender Leaf Pendant by RikiCraft

Riki Inukai, a.k.a. Rikicraft

I am breathing the fresh smell after the rain in my garden. I make silver pendants using real herb leaves from here. My inspiration comes from nature. I sometimes go to see the beautiful mountains around here in Takarazuka-city.


Limited Edition Print – Forest in February by chanabean

Natsuo Ikegami, a.k.a. chanabean 

This is near my house in the countryside. Japanese mountains are small, deep and damp. Here I feel something is looking at me…human. And I am looking for them.



Apr. 09, 2010 – Original Abstract Oil Painting by hiroshimatsumoto

Hiroshi Matsumoto, a.k.a. hiroshimatsumoto

There is a small waterfall known as Minoo no Taki, which is a place to relax and refresh. I can be inspired by watching the falls here.



Tea Cosy – Tatami – Kelly Green by kalla

Hitomi Kimura, a.k.a. kalla

This is a place where I used to play as a child. I love Japan for the seasonal changes and its colours —
beautiful and inspiring.

Thanks to AKjapan for sharing the works of her fellow Japanese Etsians!
Do you know of another noteworthy artist from Japan? Leave their shop name in the comments below.


  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 7 years ago

    Great article! Awesome prints!

  • FashionTouch

    FashionTouch said 7 years ago

    Japan was always my dream destination:)

  • VintageTribe

    VintageTribe said 7 years ago

    I'm with FashionTouch- I've always wanted to visit glad it's been featured, I can't wait to check out these shops!

  • PunchDrunkPrince

    PunchDrunkPrince said 7 years ago

    I love these shop local bits. The abduction collage is amazing.

  • nestingemily

    nestingemily said 7 years ago

    wonderful. I am a big fan on Nanban and it is nice to know more about him and other japanese sellers.

  • megspapercraft

    megspapercraft said 7 years ago

    love it.

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 7 years ago

    Great article.

  • muka

    muka said 7 years ago

    Love the post - there are so many interesting items and styles to find from Japanese sellers.

  • thetailorsstories

    thetailorsstories said 7 years ago

    Lovely picks. Paintings are amazing!

  • allisonmooney

    allisonmooney said 7 years ago

    I think my daughter needs a little messenger bag - so cute

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 7 years ago

    Beautiful finds!

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 7 years ago

    *Sigh* I want nothing more than to be able to go to Japan someday. I took Japanese in High School and I have a deep love for Japanese culture. Thank you for this article! I love the blurbs from members of the team. "Forest in February" is a new favorite! So magical!

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago

    Unique and beautiful items!!

  • laurenmagpie

    laurenmagpie said 7 years ago

    Lovely work!

  • KiraFerrer

    KiraFerrer said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article! Oh, how I would love to visit Japan... maybe someday!

  • aforfebre

    aforfebre said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 7 years ago

    Love the Kelly green bag! I love Japan... Ren

  • MeenzerMaedche

    MeenzerMaedche said 7 years ago

    I am in awe by Chanabean's picture. Love it. I have always had a place in my heart for Japan and now seeing these artists makes me want to go and visit the country even more.

  • steampunkjunk

    steampunkjunk said 7 years ago

    Great article! Thanks! :)

  • saintesmariesjewelry

    saintesmariesjewelry said 7 years ago

    definitely inspiring, love this article

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 7 years ago

    Wonderful artists from Japan..I spent 3 weeks there working in a paper factory there..amazing culture and terrific people...most everything is an aesthetic experience i.e. food display in markets and restaurants.... the gardens and temples are exquisite..GO!!

  • MaaPstudio

    MaaPstudio said 7 years ago

    Great article!!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago

    I love Japan. Beautiful culture and arts.

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 7 years ago

    Wow! Such amazing artwork! I've been to Japan once...unforgetable & wonderful!

  • DevineDesignStudios

    DevineDesignStudios said 7 years ago

    Japanese art embodies delicate balance, organic peacefulness and vibrant rhythm. I am so inspired by Japanese art and will begin following many of these artist's work. I would love to see more articles about art from other regions of the world. Very fresh, thankyou!!!!

  • anotherghostquilts

    anotherghostquilts said 7 years ago

    Great article. I've just begun buying Japanese fabric to include in my quilts and it is so unique!

  • tomokotahara

    tomokotahara said 7 years ago

    Fun article.I'll visit to Japan this month - can't wait.

  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 7 years ago

    Great article and great artists !

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 7 years ago

    Have always wanted to visit Japan and the historical buildings. At least I get a glimpse of what it's like through these artists.

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry said 7 years ago

    Beautiful items!

  • dailyportrait

    dailyportrait said 7 years ago

    Gorgeous items - going to discover a fair amount of nice shops this evening! I'm missing Japan now :D

  • ViennaCity

    ViennaCity said 7 years ago

    Love it!

  • starbitspets

    starbitspets said 7 years ago

    The Japanese visual style has always intrigued me. It always stands out, whether because of it's graphic quality or organic balance. I'll have to check these shops out, especially because there seem to be some anteater-ish creatures in them. :>

  • KnitFactory

    KnitFactory said 7 years ago

    My peeps! So glad to see Japanese Etsians featured. There is much respect for beauty and creativity there....

  • solsticehome

    solsticehome said 7 years ago

    your so right, i love seeing the faces and inspiration spots from the many talented people on etsy.

  • tortillagirl

    tortillagirl said 7 years ago

    Now this is a shop local article that I really like! Extremely talented artists that I've just discovered today. You all do lovely work! Thanks for sharing. P.S. I can't wait to visit Japan - it is currently at the top of my travel list.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your stories! KnitFactory said it best & it's worth repeating: 'There is much respect for beauty and creativity there'.

  • evertonterrace

    evertonterrace said 7 years ago

    I have just become completely enamored with Japan. All the pieces are interesting - I like each one.

  • paulofnavarone

    paulofnavarone said 7 years ago

    grrr! i'm desperate to go to Japan! so jealous. supercool stuff. love that big baby.

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy said 7 years ago

    I found some new favorites. I'll be checking out more of the team members' shops too.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    wow great finds such beautiful work especially that tea bowl.

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 7 years ago

    WOW! Now I have a bunch of new favorites to add! Thank you for sharing from our fellow Etsyians abroad!

  • tasifashion

    tasifashion said 7 years ago

    Japan is a magical country full of fantastic artists!

  • blueflowervintage

    blueflowervintage said 7 years ago

    What a pleasure! I hope you do more features on Japan. Such a beautiful posting!

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage said 7 years ago

    How wonderful to meet such talented artists! Thank you for this Japanese perspective. :)

  • jenniferladd

    jenniferladd said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful post! I found so many new favorites (and an old favorite, too - Kalla does such great work!)

  • TheWoodGarden

    TheWoodGarden said 7 years ago

    Oh, I love Rikicraft's silver painted leaf necklaces! Just gorgeous!

  • adrienneaudrey

    adrienneaudrey said 7 years ago

    Love the alien print. So many great artists!

  • gogovintage

    gogovintage said 7 years ago

    Thank you for introducing us to these great artists. gogo v

  • YahYa

    YahYa said 7 years ago

    So good to see more products from Asia. YEAHHHHH.... Directly from Asia! Yeepie!!!

  • zeropumpkin

    zeropumpkin said 7 years ago

    love love!

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes said 7 years ago

    Great messenger bag:) Beautiful items

  • HandmadeHandsome

    HandmadeHandsome said 7 years ago

    Great, this special on Japan.

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 7 years ago

    Such beautiful style and artwork....really love it. Thanks for exposing it.

  • colormuse

    colormuse said 7 years ago

    Great collection, inspiring work, and memories of natural inspirational places. Hiroshi and Natsuo have wonderful talent and I am pleased to own their work! I am pleased that they have chosen mine!

  • feltcafe

    feltcafe said 7 years ago

    wonderful feature and beautiful work from the etsy japan team!

  • julieandco

    julieandco said 7 years ago

    Lovely pieces and great article! Can't wait to go visit Japan again!

  • okaySK

    okaySK said 7 years ago

    freak',n rad.

  • JSyv

    JSyv said 7 years ago

    Thanks for posting this! Really unique and beautiful selections.

  • kmwatkins

    kmwatkins said 7 years ago

    All beautiful work. I love the baby painting.

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. I have to check out all the shops!

  • AdultIndulgences

    AdultIndulgences said 7 years ago

    Yes. I love stores from Japan. Always creative and unique items. Great article.

  • meeabee

    meeabee said 7 years ago

    Thanks again Michelle and Andrea for putting this article together. Our team is geographically spread so it was lovely for me to "meet" some of my fellow team mates as well - to put a face to the name and their wonderful work! Thanks everyone for reading our article. Look me up if any of you ever come to Japan, it really is an amazing place.

  • camstudiostore

    camstudiostore said 7 years ago

    Great work, thanks!

  • littlemoandfriends

    littlemoandfriends said 7 years ago

    oh so delightful! i love japan, i can't wait to go back there again!

  • SchneiderGallery

    SchneiderGallery said 7 years ago

    Fabulous finds, love them all, Japan rules!!!

  • creativefactory7

    creativefactory7 said 7 years ago

    really cool , inspiring as well!

  • PataPri

    PataPri said 7 years ago

    so nice to see other etsy people in japan!

  • msis

    msis said 7 years ago

    Konichiwa Etsy members in Japan. We wish we could go to visit your beautiful country one day.

  • hempcouture

    hempcouture said 7 years ago

    beautiful creations! Love Japan!

  • GreenNotion

    GreenNotion said 7 years ago

    I so should have been born in Japan! Its not fair~! Such a wonderful article. Im super jealous now - thank you >^..^<

  • meoneil

    meoneil said 7 years ago

    Different, original, beautiful

  • bertiescloset

    bertiescloset said 7 years ago

    very cool items. glad i caught it tonight. my heart aches for ryokans, sakura, and nippori :)

  • gizecraft

    gizecraft said 7 years ago

    Beautiful!!! Love japan! Great items.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago


  • Resurgence

    Resurgence said 7 years ago

    So much talent! Love the Peacekeeper bowl by Nanbanceramics.

  • TwinkleLittleBz

    TwinkleLittleBz said 7 years ago

    Glad to see great artwork from Japan! miss "wabi, sabi" culture so much...

  • glamasaurus

    glamasaurus said 7 years ago

    Lovely work. Someday I would love to visit Japan.

  • aromaticbodyoils

    aromaticbodyoils said 7 years ago

    One day I too will visit Japan.

  • ikuest

    ikuest said 6 years ago

    There r so many amazing Japanese items in Etsy. I will work hard to make more great Japanese art works!

  • ikoplus

    ikoplus said 6 years ago

    Love japan~~

  • caterpillarcoltd

    caterpillarcoltd said 6 years ago

    Atsui ne~

  • ykaihori

    ykaihori said 6 years ago

    I didn't know there is team Japan!

  • ZenBrush

    ZenBrush said 6 years ago

    What a great discovery!

  • FurugiStar

    FurugiStar said 6 years ago

    I love being here in japan. Great to see what my fellow Etsians are doing over here!

  • pixelita Admin

    pixelita said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this! Wonderful article!

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