Interim Report of Craftathon 2019
Potential from Collaboration Between Uji Craftsmen x Designers [Collaborative Program]

2019.09.07 [SAT]
The Tale of Genji Museum

This event is an interim report of the Craftathon 2019—Orin and Kumihimo held July 13–15 in Uji.

The Craftathon (craft & hackathon) invites creators from various fields and areas in Japan and aims to create new value through open innovation using Kyoto’s craftsmanship.

This year’s theme was . Seventeen participants separated into four teams and presented their ideas. This interim report features the two teams that won. This event will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about the craftsmanship of Uji and the new ideas developed at the Craftathon.


Seventeen creators from across Japan, including students, businesspeople and designers, gathered in Uji to work on the themes of orin and kumihimo. They learned about the history and culture of Uji and visited orin and kumihimo studios. They brainstormed ideas and selected four of them, and then separated into four groups for each idea. The judges selected one group for the grand prize and another for the runner-up. These two teams will develop prototypes with orin and kumihimo craftspeople and run a crowd-funding project. Only if the crowd-funding projects succeed will these products be available for purchase. This event is an interim report on the two teams’ efforts.

●Time: Sep. 07, 2019 (Sat) 1:00–3:00 pm (opens 12:30 pm)


●Venue: Tale of Genji Museum, Lecture Room
45-26 Uji Higashiuchi, Uji-shi, Kyoto


●Fee: free


●Maximum 80 seats





1.Open presentations

Sixteen creators from diverse fields and regions from inside and outside of Kyoto prefecture gathered in Uji from July 13 to 15. They learned about the history and culture of Uji with support from the Tale of Genji Museum and the , and about the processes and commitment of craftsmanship at Showen Kumihimo (kyo-kumihimo braiding) and Nanjo Kobo (Buddhist ceremonial orin).

The participants brainstormed and came up with 67 ideas. Four of those were selected and the participants separated into four teams for each idea. After the Craftathon judging, the following two teams were selected.

– Grand Prize: Underwear meant to be seen using kumihimo
– Runner-up: Using Buddhist ceremonial orin in everyday life
The two teams will go on to develop prototypes and test the market through crowd-funding projects this winter. If the crowd-funding projects are not successful, the ideas will not be available for purchase. This event is the interim report of their efforts.


2.Reviews and feedback

A curator with knowledge on Uji’s history and a Craftathon 2018 team who ran a successful crowd-funding project will review the presentations and offer feedback!



DESIGN WEEK KYOTO runs the Craftathon and other projects, such as open factory tours, to make the community more creative and to promote exchange. Our projects are in Kyoto City as well as Yamashiro regions like Uji and Kumiyama, and now even Kameoka. We promote diverse exchange in the field of craftsmanship.