Step into a world where Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio frolic on silk cloth, Charizard becomes an integral part of a grand ceramic jar, and a dazzling Jolteon takes form from meticulously crafted gold and silver-plated copper, shaped into the silhouette of lightning bolts. Welcome to the enchanting realm of POKÉMON X KOGEI | Playful Encounters of Pokémon and Japanese Craft, the captivating exhibition gracing JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles from July 25, 2023, to January 7, 2024. This unique showcase unites two pillars of Japanese culture – the beloved characters of a global entertainment giant and the centuries-old craftsmanship that defines the nation.
Supervised by the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, with special support from The Pokémon Company, the exhibition boasts over 70 pieces, spanning various materials and techniques. Twenty of Japan’s foremost craft artists, including the revered Morihito Katsura and the dynamic Taiichiro Yoshida, have risen to the challenge. These artisans, representing a spectrum from Living National Treasure to emerging talent, utilized their skills in lacquer, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and more to imaginatively express the essence of the Pokémon universe.
Under the careful curation of the National Crafts Museum, the exhibition seamlessly intertwines the natural elements integral to Japanese craftsmanship—earth, water, and fire—with the elemental categories defining the beloved Pokémon characters, creating a fascinating harmony between these two cultural icons.