Tactile Pokémon Crafts exhibition in ishikawa


At the National Crafts Museum in Ishikawa, 20 Japanese artists, from Living National Treasures to young creatives, transform 70 Pokémon characters into works of art that illustrate the traditional craftsmanship of the country known as ‘kogei’. Looking at the images, these bodies of work include ceramic vases, golden figurines, wooden planks for handcrafted ornaments, and even color-boosted fronds and characters on the walls. Running between March 21st and June 11th, 2023, The Pokémon Crafts exhibition showcases the playful encounters of art and video game series and how the latter influences the former through the hands and eyes of the artists.


The museum calls the meeting a ‘scientific’ reaction between the recognizable game and the artists’ process. The museum team says that viewers can consider the use of raw materials in crafts and the energy that flows in the manufacturing processes, both of which echo the elements and transformations of the Pokémon from soil, grass, and metal to water, fire, and electricity. ‘It seems that there are a lot of things that overlap with the thoughts of the creators and enthusiasts of crafts, such as honing their skills, nurturing them, and collecting and exchanging them,’ says the museum team. 

pokémon craft exhibition
Kanshin Imai, Fushigibana, 2022 | header: Haruho Mitsuda, Free Gyarados, 2022 | images courtesy of the National Crafts Museum | photos by Taku Saijo



Artists include Living National Treasures of Japan


The Pokémon Crafts exhibition at the National Crafts Museum in Ishikawa offers a multitude of ways for visitors to enjoy the craftsmanship journey.  Multilingual and audio guides for adults and self-guides for children suggest  suitable help for viewers of all ages to fully understand and enjoy the backstories behind the crafts and Pokémon characters. Inside the exhibition space, the works of art evoke and capture the appearances, gestures, and frozen mannerisms of Pokémon figures as they trace back to the game with their evolved looks.


Artistic approaches come through the stylish kimono outfits that some of the Pokémon characters in the exhibition wear alongside the ability of the artists to mimic the transformation of these figures. The museum team says that the craftwork awakens Pokémon’s unexpected tangible forms that are tactile from their skin and fur to their gestures, facial expressions, signs, and appearances. They want all the senses of the visitors to be sharpened and touched, honed by the rich materials artists used in the works.


Artists who are exhibiting Akimasa Ikeda, Ichizo Ikemoto, Kanshin Imai, Kasumi Ueba, Morihito Katsura, Takuro Kuwata, Yasuyoshi Komiya, Eiichi Shiroma, Reiko Sudo, Yoshiaki Taguchi, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Yuki Tsuboshima, Hiroki Niimi, Hayashi Shigeki, Yuki Hayama, Toru Fukuda, Yoshiko Masumoto, Saori Mizuhashi, Haruho Mitsuda, and Taiichiro Yoshida.

pokémon craft exhibition
Yoshiko Masumoto, Charizard/Shigaraki Pot, 2022

pokémon craft exhibition
Toru Fukuda, After the Rain, 2022

pokémon craft exhibition
Kasumi Ueha, Shaymin, 2022

pokémon craft exhibition
Sakaeichi Shiroma, Ryukyu Bingata Kimono ‘Island Jumpsuit’, 2022



Taiichiro Yoshida, Sanders, 2022
Taiichiro Yoshida, Sanders, 2022
Morihito Katsura, Obidome Brooch Blacky
Morihito Katsura, Obidome Brooch Blacky "Intimidation" "Sleeping" "Standing" 2022

project info:


name: Pokémon Crafts exhibition

exhibition museum: National Crafts Museum

location: 3-2 Dewacho, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

dates: March 21st to June 11th, 2023