For the many fans of Japanese craftsmanship who reside outside of Japan, there are two e-commerce websites you might want to keep your eyes on. Unique Japan and Alexcious both provide such products. The first is operated by a Canadian couple who have fallen in love with Japanese art, and the latter was founded by an Japanese entrepreneur who previously worked at Sony and Google Japan.
Unique Japan launched back in 2006, introducing many traditional craftsmanships including hand-crafted knives, or Daruma, a round Japanese wishing doll. But believe it or not, their speciality is Japanese swords. The founder of Unique Japan is a passionate fan of antique Samurai swords. On the site, you can find a page titled ‘7 points to consider when choosing your Japanese sword,’ which includes professional advice when considering a sword purchase. Unique Japan also has a beautiful gallery of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
As for Alexcious, it showcases a wider variety of products. This ranges from interior products to toys, from tech to Japanese sake. The Japanese entrepreneur behind the ecommerce service is Koichiro Tsujino, who is ex-Sony and a former Google Japan president.
For some of its products, Alexcious provides great product videos. Below you can see how one product, a Makuzu-yaki sake cup, is crafted.