consumption & social impact
Japan's precious ancient intelligence and cultural history warmly welcomes your curiosity. Ever wonder how have your desire to visit and experience Japan impact this beautiful country?
When businesses capitalize on the popularity of Tokyo and Kyoto for the past decade, they also bring negative impact to these tourist-swamped hotspots: local businesses being squeezed out by tourist-focused commerce, irresponsible real estate developments, property inflation caused by the tourist-guesthouse rush, residential community's disturbances, pollutions... to name a few. "Kanko kogai" (tourism pollution) has become a hot topic in recent years. Become an informed Culture Consumer and make smart decisions that drive positive impact.
A serendipitous visit to the remote Koishiwara in November 2017, a small village recovering from a massive flood, inspired the establishment of TAKETOMBO, a travel curation consultation and design incubator, aiming to introduce the wonders of lesser-known craft towns and artisans to the global creative community. Japan's craft culture stretches far beyond what you see in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Since then, TAKETOMBO travels throughout Japan exploring the many forgotten towns and deep-diving into various traditional craft culture. These journeys have led to connections with many artisans, old and young, relentlessly working towards a common goal: to sustain the humble legacy and pave new future for Japanese crafts.
To tell genuine stories and provide access to these artisans' work, we established GOENNE. A pop-up channel that provides our readers the opportunity to own a piece of the story. The dedication to sustain family heritage, the pride in utilitarian craftsmanship, and embracing what nature endows - these become the basis of curation for Goenne. We are not selling branded Japanese lifestyle goods. We are telling genuine stories of artisanship and the hands behind the craft with honesty and sincerity.
Our journey continues. We hope to build special connection between the Makers and enthusiastic Users through the special objects we found. Commodities that carry heart and soul.
Serendipity will lead the way.
Many have asked how the name GOENNE came about.
GO ご EN 縁 These two characters combined to become a common Japanese phrase when people remark on how happenings are destined to occurred, whether its arriving to a special place, meeting very expected people, or things just happen to fall into the right places. It is also often used to refer to creating personal and special connections to objects, people or the divine (when in a temple or shrine).
Almost all of our encounters with artisans and unique craft towns happened through serendipity. It is the happenstance and local warm hospitality that build the connection and led to the creation of various stories.
Hence we named this hub GO-ENNE.
Mikki Tam is an award-winning Brand Designer and Interior Architect who practiced in LA, NY, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo since 1999. She has built diverse international creative experience and consumer insights.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and Master of Interior Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) specialising in Architecture Adaptive Reuse and User-centric design.
With 20 years experience leading Art Direction, Branding and Retail Design projects, Critical-thinking, Design-thinking and User-experience are key principles in her practices. Mikki worked with global brands and Fortune 500 companies including Nike, Proctor & Gamble, Nokia and Citibank. She also guest-lecture and design-critique at design universities, on Creative Entrepreneurship and Architecture Adaptive-Reuse Design.
Arts and crafts is her life-long passion where she would always find time to support and participate. She has been an advocate in Japanese ceramics and an apprentice of kintsugi since her relocation to Tokyo in 2016.
While in Tokyo, she gained insights from her extensive travel throughout Japan. Her interactions with Japanese artisans in the historic towns has inspired the founding of award-winning social innovation enterprise, Taketombo Corporation & Goenne.com, driving social impact through creativity.
Mario (the car) has been her traveling companion covering over 6000km (and counting..) of road trips throughout the country of Japan.