Industry Promotion Department, Life Promotion Department, Edogawa City
EDOCORE! has gained popularity as it makes traditional crafts with Edo-era taste, such as Edo wind chimes, Japanese folding fans, and Kata Komon, a dyeing technique using paper patterns, into goods tailored to the life of our time. It attracts other cities largely, too, as it is a great outcome from industry-academia-public collaboration efforts in Edogawa City, or Edogawa City. We interviewed Kentaro Tsuji, Plan Unit of Industry Promotion Department, Life Promotion Department, Edogawa City, regarding the background and vision of the EDOCORE! project.
Edogawa City has carried out "Edogawa Traditional Craft Industry-Academia-Public Project" since a decade ago. While taking advantage of new design and imagination of art universities’ students, it supports traditional craft industry of the City.
As part of the project, we launched an online shop EDOCORE! in October 2010. In fact, we had sold traditional crafts, which was picked up by media and magazines. Also we won a Good Design Award in 2008. However, due to weak sales channels, our sales didn’t expand as much as expected.
The sales in fiscal 2011 expanded largely as we launched the online shop, and traditional culture goods, including wind chimes and Japanese folding fans, had been appreciated with the Great East Japan Earthquake. Various goods, such as pet wears taking advantage of local textile industry of Edogawa City, and Soba noodles made of Edogawa City specialty Komatsuna, a leafy green vegetable, have maintained their sales.
As it is difficult for the City itself to do sales activities, we outsource them to CUC Support Co., Ltd. This company was invested and launched by an incorporated educational institution, Chiba Gakuen, which is a parent organization of Chiba University of Commerce. It has an online shop at Rakuten market, while an outlet in Ginza deals some items. It also sells goods at events for some weeks, such as at terminal stations, where large sales have been recorded.
In addition, last year, we presented EDOCORE! Goods at Japan Expo, which has been held in Paris with the theme of Japanese culture. Many people were interested in our goods, and, above all,
Orizuru Earrings (paper cranes earrings) got popular very much. Even now some shops in Paris deal Orizuru Earrings, washclothes and others.
From this year we began presenting on a US leading online shop.
"Edogawa Traditional Craft Industry-Academia-Public Project" will start around in spring by matching students of art universities and traditional craftsmen. For the period from summer to the end of this year the Project will focus on prototype production, selection of subcontractors, and sales price setting. Next January it will hold a presentation of new collection, and in February business meetings are scheduled at Tokyo International Gift Show, which students of art universities also will attend.
For the students it will be a great opportunity in which their own designs will be commercialized by splendid technologies of traditional craftsmen. Part of sales will be the revenues of students who are the inventors. They look happy, above all, as their names will be presented on catalogs and others with the works. There was a student who made a big appeal of the experience during job-hunting process, and obtained an official job offer.
It is our great pleasure to have such reporting from traditional craftsmen in Edogawa City; “I’m selling a lot,” “I got an order.” Due to the increased sales, we have more examples in which their children would take over the technologies. We therefore feel that EDOCORE! plays an important role to continuation of traditional crafts.
http://www.edocore.net/ (EDOCORE! Meister)
http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/edocore/ (Rakuten Online Shop " EDOCORE! ")
Address: 1-4-1, Chuo, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
Phone: +81-3-5662-0525 (Plan Unit)