The Etsy Blog

Shop Local: Japan 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.