Japanese "Waza"
for a Global Market

Japanese craftsmanship, or waza, is passed down through the ages.
Honoring this tradition, we collaborate with designers and buyers worldwide to innovate products for overseas markets and contemporary life.



Hiyoshiya Craft Collection


Before becoming the director of TCI Laboratory, Kotaro Nishibori headed the recovery of failing business, Hiyoshiya, a Kyoto maker of Japanese umbrellas, or "wagasa." Following the credo, "Tradition is Continuing Innovation," his success strategy applied wagasa techniques to merge the traditional craft with new innovative designs such as lighting decor. These new products are now sold in 15 countries and Hiyoshiya's sales have skyrocketed. Through this experience, TCI Laboratory was born to help Japanese artisans promote their trade and reach new overseas markets.

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TCI Laboratory has taken part in over 400 projects, working with skilled clients representing a diversity of traditional crafts by providing product development and overseas marketing support. We operate in two main advisory roles; one providing support between local industries and local or national governments, and secondly, assisting individual clients with one-to-one contracts.

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Backed by our own business network spread over fourteen countries, we work with partnered buyers and designers to identify target markets and develop products that are localized to best succeed in those markets. Our base in Paris, L’ATELIER BLANCS MANTEAUX, also plays a key role in promoting Japanese culture and tradition to the world.

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With the network of talented minds from our buyers, designers, and coordinators both in and out of the country, we create a team, according to each client's goals, for optimal support of product development and overseas business.

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In the hopes of contributing as much as possible to both economic revitalization and cultural preservation, we also utilize the business experience and accumulated expertise acquired at TCI and Hiyoshiya by also providing lectures and published books. We also offer education programs to individuals who aspire to coordinator or producer roles to help define the evolving brand of Japan by providing learning programs in real workplace and OJT environments.

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