Although not all “zakka” are handmade, most of them are. Zakka is like kinchaku which are general merchandise used daily. They are your Japanese version of arts and craft. The kinchaku bag is a hand-sewn traditional drawstring bag used for multiple purposes to carry mobile phones, make-up, money, and even lunch.
Just like every other product that is marketable, handmade goods have gone commercial. There are now factories all over the world churning out replicas of handmade goods from Japan. You might have more luck finding these handmade goods in Japan than anywhere else unless you manage to locate a website that can deliver handmade zakka to your doorstep.
Aside from the kinchaku, other popular Japanese handmade goods are their Koito Pottery products. They are made by families who have passed on the tradition for generations. You cannot find Koito Pottery just anywhere. You will have to travel to Takayama, region of Chobu. It’s a city in the mountain where tradition remains strong and protected.
The Netsuke are handmade mini sculptures made by carvers using sticks, string, hard wood, and vines. It is used as an accessory to clothing or bags like the kinchaku. This art form dates back to early 17th century Japan. The designs range from animals, gods, personalities, flora, and other objects. Over time, other materials were used like the ivory, porcelain, and lacquer. Many Westerners have taken an immense liking to these miniature carvings which has drove the prices up between $100 to $100,000, depending on the year it was made and the materials used.
For the more adventurous collector, one of the Japanese handmade goods you should look for is the Katana sword. These are the slightly curved swords used by the Samurai dating back to 14th century. Each tip of the katana sword must be hand crafted to exact specifications. According to the Japanese, no factory or machine can replicate the skills of an expert craftsman on the katana sword. This is why it commands such a price in the world market today.
Other Japanese handmade good is the Japanese paper which is used to make books, kites, Origami, fireworks, and even wall decor.