Jul 27, 2018
For many crafters, the appeal of making something with one's hands is based on the desire to be creative. To put your own twist on something. At least that it how DIY and crafting are marketed in America. In Japan, however, the appeal of crafting isn't creativity. Individuality isn't the key thing here, so why would making something handmade focus on one of a kind type of art. Instead, Japan has a great deal of kits, preplanned crafts focused on teaching you the technics of the trade. Everything from sewing to woodworking to needle felting, there are set plans, preconstructed so you can recreate the exact product on the package. When I first started looking around craft stores, I was surprised by this. I was browsing a sewing book about how to draft a pair of shorts and in the corner, there was a memo about where to find the exact fabric and print used in the example pair. Later I found an acquaintance who had made the exact pair of those shorts. I complimented her on them and she complained a bit about how the color isn't her favorite. When I questioned her on why she hadn't chosen a different fabric than what had been recommended by the book she looked at me like I had just told her the most eye-opening thing she has ever heard. It was like an epiphany. You can make things other than what the instructions say. Society had told her her entire life to follow the instructions to a tee. Japan teaches perfectionism. They scoff at tekitou, or doing things as one sees fit, not how it is preset. But I love tekitou. My way of doing anything is from how I want it to be done. It is okay to color outside the lines, especially if you are drawing your own background. However, I do love that I can learn so many technics and perfect my skills using these preset, preplanned crafts and throw my own creativity into the mix.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too