consumption & social impact
The Full Story
Japan's precious ancient intelligence and cultural history warmly welcome 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 hotel-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.
The pandemic may have changed the industry and we hear many strategies for recovery, but what we noticed is, the priority and rush immediately goes towards Tokyo and Kyoto, which makes harder-hit out-skirt regions close to impossible to recover. That is why we are here. Our voices and effort may be dwarfed, but some one has to do it.
how we started
A serendipitous visit to the remote Koishiwara in November 2017, a small village recovering from a massive flood, inspired the establishment of TAKETOMBO, an award-winning 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 further tells genuine stories and provide access to artisans' work, GOENNE was established. A pop-up channel that provides our readers the opportunity to own a piece of the story and contribute to supporting small heritage craft businesses in rural areas with limited domestic attention and no reach to global market .
Serendipity will lead the way.
how we work
While you see and hear common themes and messages from companies marketing Japanese lifestyle goods, we focus in discovering and telling stories of small family heritage businesses on the ground. One town at a time, one craft family at a time. We maintain close relationship, to truly hear and understand the industry and town challenges, and invest time in brainstorming and finding solutions. Even when there is a common social challenge of "lacking young apprentice, Japan's aging and declining population etc..., each family's and each town's challenge is unique. Therefore, you will see us instigating activities and initiatives beyond marketing and selling products, unlike most companies. You are seeing humble, authentic, unedited, real-life imagery from us, without the fancy packaging and stylized branding and imagery.
We are not seller of branded Japanese lifestyle goods.
We are not buyers who comb through internet catalogs and trade shows to find products and place orders.
We do not romanticize stories of Japanese artisans through packaging and imageries. It is not about creating eye-candy to prompt sales.
We build human partnership with small-town artisans, and tell genuine stories of the hands behind the craft with honesty and sincerity.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, We take time to hear and deep-dive into each craft's regional challenge and build unique propositions to help craft families. We maintain real human relationships with all the artisans, and our work goes beyond merchandizing.
AUTHENTICITY is what we presented. Your support and participation is real and impactful.
Dedication to sustain family heritage and utilitarian craftsmanship, and embracing what nature endows - these become the basis of curation for Goenne. Our journey continues. We hope to build special connections between the Makers and enthusiastic Users through the special objects we found. Commodities that carry heart and soul, which gives meaning to users in their chosen lifestyle.
Meaning: goenne - "happenstance"
Many have asked how the name GOENNE came about.
GO ご EN 縁 These two characters combined to become a common Japanese phrase when one remarks on how happenings are destined to occurred, whether its arriving to a special place, gathering with unexpected 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 encounterance 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.