The British Museum has a couple of Japanese exhibitions coming up:
Ikebana: Living Flowers of Japan from 5 July – 19 August 2007
...members of Ikebana International, the leading society for Japanese flower arrangement, will create seven different displays in seven weeks, each in one large ceramic jar. The jar was made by the leading ceramic artist Fujiwara Yū (1932–2001) who was designated as a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government for his master craft skills.
In Living Flowers of Japan, the natural beauty of the living flowers, the skill and performance of the arrangers and the simple elegance of the ceramic art all combine to celebrate the vibrant living traditions of Japan.
Sounds pretty interesting. And I'm especially intrigued by the Living National Treasure idea. Now what other country would have such a thing? I can't think of any.
Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan 19 July – 21 October 2007
...features some of the most beautiful Japanese art-crafts produced during the past fifty years including ceramics, textiles, lacquer, metal, wood, bamboo, glass and dolls.
The exhibition presents works by members of the Japan Art Crafts Association (Nihon Kogeikai), many of them designated ‘Living National Treasures’ in Japan, a title conferred by the Japanese government on exemplary individuals who carry on Japanese traditions. Crafting Beauty will demonstrate how the beauty, skill and modernity found in these contemporary pieces draws on the strength of traditional crafts skills.
Doesn't that sound interesting??!