Housewares Show Will Feature Japan Pavilion with Exhibitors Hit Hard by Earthquake, Tsunami

February 20, 2012

When the 2012 International Home + Housewares Show opens its doors March 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, there will be a Japan Pavilion for the first time that will feature 10 exhibitors who directly were impacted by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami last year.

The timing of the International Housewares Association's show has special significance since the second day of the four-day event marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating events that occurred March 11 in Japan.

The Japan Pavilion Tohoku is a special initiative by JETRO, Japan’s governmental arm for external trade, and the 10 manufacturers come from three prefectures in Northeastern Japan that were hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami – Iwate, Miyago and Fukushima.

“Despite the scale of the disaster, all of our exhibitors have shown the courage to pick their lives back up, re-energize their companies and look to new markets,” said Atsushi Semimoto, executive director of business development and public relations at JETRO New York.

The Tohuko Region of Japan is known for its detailed craftsmanship, instead of mass-produced home goods, according to JETRO officials.

Japan also is famous for the “Mingei Movement”, which celebrates Japanese folk art and the beauty of everyday objects.

“Several of our exhibitors are venturing into the U.S. market for the first time in an effort to bring their unique products to American consumers and to revitalize their businesses,” Semimoto said.

He added, “They are eager to learn more about the market by participating in this show.”

The 10 exhibitors who are coming from the impacted prefectures represent product categories ranging from wood and lacquer creations to cast iron cookware and glassware.

“The IHA is very pleased to be cooperating with JETRO on the Japan Pavilion at the 2012 show,” said Derek Miller, IHA vice president.

He added, “Helping the people and the companies from the regions devastated by the earthquake and tsunami is a very worthwhile effort. We encourage all buying attendees at the show to visit the Japan Pavilion and support the recovery effort.”

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