Housewares Show Honors Japan 1 Year After Earthquake

CHICAGO (CBS) — The annual International Home + Housewares Show opens in Chicago Saturday, with special attention this year to Japanese manufacturers struggling to recover from the earthquake and tsunami one year ago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the anniversary of the disaster falls on Sunday, the second day of the show. Spokeswoman Beate Halligan says for the first time, a Japanese pavilion will showcase some of the finely-crafted products made in a part of Japan that was especially devastated.

“This area is called Tohoku and it is well known and quite famous not only in Japan but really in the world of design,” Halligan said.

She says the craftsmanship of the products is remarkable.

“They are simply stunning in their beauty,” Halligan said. “For instance, when you think of lacquer, when you see a glass that could be used for any type of beverage — or sake, for that matter — that comes in a vibrant red and it turns out that it is actually lacquered. So it is these ancient processes that they still use.”

The housewares show runs through Tuesday at McCormick Place. It is for industry experts only and is not open to the public.

The annual show draws 60,000 professional patrons, 2,000 exhibitors from more than 35 countries, 15,000 U.S. buyers, and 6,000 international buyers from 100 countries on every inhabited continent.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

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