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January 3, 2007


Indicators - Society / Traditions and Culture

S-4. Production Volume of Traditional Crafts

1.Current Values
204.8 billion yen (U.S.$ 1.8 billion) (2002)
*U.S.$=115 yen (as of March 2006)

2.Current Points
(out of a perfect score of 100 by 2050) 34 points
Calculation method:
(Current value - minimum value) / (2050 target value - minimum value) x 100

3. Explanation of Indicator
Traditional crafts are manufactured on a human scale, made with local materials one-by-one by craftsmen with the skills of artisans. They reflect the wisdom of the ages, the natural environment and the traditions and culture of each region, and represent a lifestyle that treasures objects.

But demand for traditional crafts has declined rapidly over the past 30 years due to changes in lifestyle and other factors.
There is no want of people who would like to go into the field as an occupation, but the income will not cover living expenses, so they can't make a living as craftsmen; if the current situation continues there will be no craftsmen left. We have chosen this indicator believing in the importance of linking traditional wisdom to the future.

4.Target for 2050
600 billion yen (U.S.$ 5.2 billion)

5.Ideal for the Future
1 trillion yen (U.S.$ 8.7 billion)

6. Rationale for Ideal and Target Values
Demand for traditional crafts is affected by changes in population, changes in the scale of the economy, changes in peoples' tastes and in the appeal of traditional crafts, and therefore determining what the ideal should be was not easy. Nevertheless at JFS we have hypothetically calculated, for the approximately 100,000 current workers who will pass along their traditions, a figure of 1 trillion yen total production for them to live comfortably (a production volume of 10 million yen - US$ 87,000 -- per person).

For reference, this is on the scale of about 4% of the roughly 26 trillion yen (approx. US$ 226 billion) daily commodities market. As the target value for 2050 we chose 600 billion yen (3 times what it is at present), which surpasses the highest value of the past 30 years (540.6 billion yen in 1983) and is one step closer to the ideal.

7. Source
Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries, "Summary Statistics for Craft Industries"(Japanese only)

8. Notes
Production volume of 206 state-designated traditional crafts items


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