As we know too well, Japan is a nation prone to earthquakes. This helps to explain why historically the Japanese have avoided the use of easily broken materials in architecture and the arts. For example, there is no stained-glass tradition, and sliding wooden shoji are made with paper.
In the 1970s, skyscrapers started emerging in Shinjuku and working in glass caught the interest of a modernising nation. Hakaru Mizuguchi was one of the artists selected in 1981 for one of Japan’s first glasswork exhibitions, called “Contemporary Glass – Australia, Canada, U.S.A. & Japan”. In 1983, he went on to found “The Glass Studio in Hakodate”, which has become an integral part of the tourist experience among the red-brick warehouses by the bay in Motomachi. He specialises in free-blown glassworks that express a personal warmth not achievable with machines. In 2012, we decorated the WMDF Tree with Mizuguchi’s glass creations, and we will be topping that this year. More worlds that meet, and more new experiences.