One of the things about Japan that I’m always most curious about is the various traditional buildings and items that can be found, like the mikoshi. These are portable shrines of various sizes that get carried around during festive times. They’re incredibly intricate in their decorations and must require regular maintenance. This always leads me to wondering who makes these things and what is their business model? You don’t see any billboards for mikoshi manufacturers and yet the workshops and craftsmen are out there, somewhere doing their thing.

For another example, take this little mosaic box pictured above. You may have seen a similar one before, but do you know how it’s made? You might be surprised at where the pattern actually comes from and thanks to a series of videos put out on YouTube, we can get a glimpse at how traditional handmade Japanese goods are painstakingly created.

These videos were actually put out a couple years ago, but have recently gotten attention due to the their ability to induce a pleasurable sensation in your brain as reported by Gizmodo and The Huffington Post.

Dzuku: Noboru Honma

Although I prefer a good old hairdryer for my ASMR fix, this video is certainly relaxing. However, I got more of a kick seeing how those mosaic patterns were created by planing off a sheet of over thirty different types of wood glued together.

Nanpoteki Pot: Ryo Yaegashi

There’s a whole lot more where that came from! Check out how to make a tea pot made of Nanputeki (Southern Ironworks), as Ryo Yaegashi shows us.

At first I was surprised to see Yaegashi not wearing gloves while handling molten iron at over 1000℃ temperatures. However, after thinking about it, the gloves probably wouldn’t have helped at that point anyway.

Kiriko: Gonnugi Kudo

Back to the tranquil arts, here we can watch Gonnugi Kudo make a kiriko in the Ueyama Hachimangu Shrine. It was then only just rebuilt following the Tohoku Disaster.

Butsuzo: Meikei Matsumoto

Keeping on the religious theme, we can also glimpse Meikei Matsumoto carving Buddhist Statues. You might think Buddha looks a little pissed off there but that’s an image of Fudō-myōō an aggressive guardian of those on the path to enlightenment.

Nishiki Brocade: Amane Tatsumura

Finally, here is Amane Tatsumura weaving brocade on his draw loom. Although this isn’t exclusively a Japanese art, it’s still incredibly impressive to watch the complex procedure of making one.

These are but a few of the 28 videos released from Gucci Japan on their GucciJapanHand YouTube channel. There you can watch the entire series from traditional glassworks to candy making. There are even some more modern ones like bartending and make-up artistry. We can’t guarantee they’ll all give you a brain orgasm, but they’re interesting nonetheless.

Source: Gizmodo, Huffington Post (English), Agohige Kaizokudan (Japanese)
Video and Images: YouTube – GucciJapanHand