“Among the many things that astounded these first European visitors to Japan was the incredible craftsmanship of its handicrafts and arts. They found the aesthetic appeal and the quality of Japanese-produced goods both seductive and fascinating.

This tradition of artistic excellence finds its roots in Shinto, which holds that all materials have spirits and beauty of their own and that it is up to craftspeople to bring them out.”

~Boye Lafayette De Mente (Etiquette Guide to Japan)
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