load up pk, ill buy some!
I can't recall a single time either in Japan or here in the US that either I, my parents, or relatives have ever dropped by another Japanese person's house (including my own relatives' houses), farm, workshop (either in Japan or here in the US) unannounced. It might be acceptable to younger generation Japanese (I don't know if this is the case), but to older generation Japanese, politeness and etiquette require some kind of advance notice prior to arrival.
"Don't you know who he is?"
^^ When in Rome...
one man gathers what another man spills...
i've always wanted to visit some makers in japan and have looked into it before, but am disappointed to hear from some that visits are considered rude. however, i'm not so sure. one maker i'd love to visit is hide and i'm guessing they accept visitors, for example. from what i can tell, many of the sakai workshops have promotional welcome banners placed out front to encourage visitors, as you can see in this photo:
but i guess not all knife makers would welcome them.
personally, if i was a craftsman and there were tourists or anyone who would want to visit my shop, i would welcome them with open arms. sure i would be selective of some, but any business or buzz from absolutely anyone is good for me.
actually, you'd be surprised to know that this is not the case... their workshop is not really set up for visitors at all to be honest. While i was there recently, a couple of people showed up unannounced and it was quite a difficult thing to deal with. They are craftsmen, not retailers. In this case, when they do sell things, it is most often by going to a restaurant with whom they have a relationship... not by someone coming to visit them. Every time, someone did visit them, it was preceded with a phone call and, at that point, a time was set up, if it was convenient. Last minute phone calls were not always accepted for a visit.
*consequently, it was literally just a few days ago that i was having a conversation with them (exactly the people in the picture above) about how foreigners can be rude by doing this kind of thing. I kid you not. I guess its happened a couple of times and they didnt understand why people would just show up.
I think its not only rude in Japan !!
Will also be in DK or any other place i have been.
Many workshops is in they privet homes. And i think its really rude to just dump in to someones home
Even when we visit some, we say it in very very good time and bring ton of gifts
this is good to know and yes id heard workshops were often next to the craftsmens homes. however I also thought that they were interested in receiving visits, especially because of the 'welcome' banners in a place like sakai. many will also sell knives direct like Hide i have read. if they didnt want visitors they would take the banners down. but it looks like the local craftsmen and city office are trying to promote the craft business.
we all want to support good independent craftsmen. if we visit there please advise on the best way to make contact.
the banners arent about welcoming people... they are more about being proud of sakai uchihamono. And the truth is that more often that not, craftsmens workshops (like hide) are not set up for visitors at all. Visitors are expected to go to shops and other places dedicated to retail sales.
Wow, that map is a really great resource. Thanks so much for sharing it!