JTCO strives for inheritance, creation and development of Japanese traditional culture.

JTCOJapanese Traditional Culture Promotion&Development Organization
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Message from JTCO

A message from the President

Translation: Monica Shingaki

Thank you for your interest in the Japan Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization (JTCO) and our work.

JTCO is a nonprofit organization that has aimed to preserve and promote the long-standing traditional Japanese culture and regional subcultures since 2009 under the motto, “searching for true richness in wa.” Wa can be defined as harmony, peace, oneness, and points to many things: a name given to ancient Japan; the Japanese language; and the Japanese culture in general as contrasted to foreign cultures.

Japanese people customarily produced and manufactured in harmony with their environment, becoming one with the ecosystem and preserving the beautiful nature found in rural agricultural areas known as satoyama (literally: village mountains). Objects, carefully crafted to provide exceptional functionality, form, and color, were treasured--even a single sheet of paper was reused exhaustively. People found meaning in the observable seasonal changes in nature, which were often celebrated in the form of songs, literature, motifs, and paintings. Fear and gratitude towards nature and the gods gave rise to traditional festivals and performing arts dedicated to shrines and temples, which enriched communities all year round.

The Meiji Restoration of the mid-19th century was an exceptional revolution in which Japan abolished the feudal system and began its path to modernization. Old social norms, conventions, and values were completely overturned. On the one hand, people were freed from social stratification and archaic principles, and soon the country emerged on the world stage. On the other hand, the wisdom, customs, philosophy, and aesthetics gained from living in unity with nature for over a thousand years, were forgotten.

In the 21st century, trends have centered around products that are safe, environmentally conscious, sustainability-focused, and expressive of individualistic style. In a time when many jobs are replaced by machines, conversations surrounding the significance of human sensibility and creativity have become prevalent. Unable to find meaningfulness in improving efficiency and convenience, the new generation often dubbed the “digital natives,” is returning to low-tech, real-life experiences in an effort to find contentment.

JTCO aims to find the answers to such yearnings of modern society in traditional wa culture. Our work is truly a journey, of finding goodness and beauty. We hope to discover values and beauty that can be universally appreciated and share it with people around the world, inclusive of all cultures and creed; and pass on these values to future generations. We encourage you to support JTCO by getting involved in our work, and join us in our journey.

July 2016
Noriko Osaka
President, Japan Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization

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