GINZA SIX EDITORS
Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
We spell way of enjoying that we found on foot.
Secret ingredient of modern Ginza space is power design of folkcraft Power of Traditional Craft Adds Subtle Accent to Modern Ginza Space
Ginza Six Editors Vol.13 (Lifestyle)
When we showed the whole aspect in Chuo-dori, white box which emitted light faintly was already scenery of Ginza. Newly legitimate Landmark which just kept dignity of Ginza. However, we do not set foot in GINZA SIX until we receive this plan……. We come on seeing change of Ginza since Tokyo downtown area native reason was childish. We couldn't help loving flexibility that continued being Ginza while being renewed, but we were overwhelmed by opening original bubble second coming-like heat capacity, and time has been over while we reserved to search after calming down a little. Serious reflection. GINZA SIX to lay emphasis on art and approach to folkcraft. It will rotate slowly though a little too late. It is Tamagawa temple on the fourth floor to have wanted to visit by all means. It is long-established store of metal beating copper utensil lasting 200 years in Tsubame-shi, Niigata.
In Shops design here, we had a foreboding on the next stage of folkcraft. Light of light yellowish pink lighting up in space that covered ceiling, wall, floor, tebu in copper sheet which craftsmen of studio put mallet eyes in each exhaustively rises and is wrapped in euphoria. Simple design by work that kettle and pan, pot forming a line on shelf are certain.
For the lineup to capture heart of domestic and foreign wide generations, there does not seem to be further space. Because we show coolness that folkcraft contains in sensitive environment tight. It is these days when fair wind blows in industrial arts, but feels the real ability of folkcraft which is not used by transient boom from this Shops.
Kettle which swats with mallet to beak, and is made from board is Tamagawa temple original high technique. Sample understanding the process at first sight is displayed.
We seemed to be awakened to Japanese folkcraft after Yasue Maehara of vice-manager, Yamato Tanaka of the staff, each overseas experience. To industrial bearer, new wind blows. Shops mark of Tamagawa temple designs large mallet eyes of metal beating copper utensil in family coat of arms style.
To D-BROS which is adjoining in floor having the same next. In Shops of product which graphic design group, DRAFT deal with, we challenge design X folkcraft on GINZA SIX branch. Coupling and pattern practice with a partner of traditional method of construction are given interior to remind of pillar and beam of wooden building.
Form of folkcraft and traditional culture that folkcraft does not draw close to design, and design does not disturb essence of folkcraft again, and are created by power of superior graphic design. It is said that representative from DRAFT, Blanding of Satoru Miyata spend time for investigation and preparations thoroughly. Of high folkcraft of the craftsman-like freshness that is reliable if face each other, and is person though is light is seen, and should be born.
Longtime seller of D-BROS, plastic flower base. At vase which stands when is compact, and pour water if is soft and full as for the motif of cut glass (cut glass) and Edo-dyed clothe.
We approach large house book of collected sample of crests which we produced for opening of GINZA SIX after two years graphically.
"The origin of Japanese graphic design is family coat of arms. From family coat of arms of 20,000 points, to choose 350 points of things which thought that we were interesting, and to have made thes book of collected sample of crests of Japanese bookbinding that printed on Echizen Japanese paper, Eriko Fujitani of spokesman. Combination that each family coat of arms is interesting, but arranged in spread is exquisiteness. Suck in 〝 which let nail be opposite to 〝 ko*** 〟 which widened feather; trivet 〟. We are similar I see. Family coat of arms design in Japanese fan and furoshiki, motif of handkerchief. Design of taking a lesson from the past shines.
Local industry of Niigata, lunch box of spatula diaphragm were born for GINZA SIX, too. We raise sealing characteristics using snacks opening and closing air hole. Pattern that designed tree of hydrangea and tochi is charming. Approach with folkcraft takes time for mutual understanding with craftsman, and time suffers from penetration to customer, but we continue and seem to wrestle. Surely he/she seems to assign light to the new side of folkcraft by unexpected design again.
By the way, there was curious art in elevator hall. Aggregate of flower pop in long distance. When approach, of Edo-dyed clothe motif. Fusion of tradition and modern art is one of the highlight of GINZA SIX. Shinji Omaki of Aristrist extends motif in Edo-dyed clothe and puts together and buries each ground in regular small pattern more. Fine sharkskin pattern and manners, Matuba. In 2, 3, 4, the fifth-floor south elevator hall, we display different work of expression. Title "Echoes Infinity Immortal Flowers." Immortal flower is flower of lucky sign to lead to everlasting prosperity.
Let's move to the sixth floor. It is sword corner that, because of the profession, there are full of curious books in floor which TSUTAYA BOOKS is specialized in art, and unfolds, but aim today. That it is sword corner in bookstore surprised at.
"To go on sword, and to have worn while the Japanese best arts and crafts argued when thought about this floor when would be anything"; Satoshi Matsumoto of CONCEIRGE. In fact, concierge seems to be employed in this floor every genre. We are excited to be able to choose book while talking with them with technical knowledge.
By book making even that is wide from ancient book to comics, there is more care tool of sword while the existing work by a ghost writer of world-famous industrial designer who became topic at the time of opening, aikuchi which Mark Newson designed and eminent scholar, Kunihei Kawachi and the school is exhibited, and there is sword stationery which was particular about the details. Scenery that there is no end to place reason without the threshold called flat area or people who drop in casually, and watch sword is fresh.
Sword which sword boisterous dance of appearance and game of sword girl is popular, and there is many in upsurge, foreign fan. Unknown central figure that Japanese sword raised level of folkcraft judging from industrial arts glance that was different from such a movement again, and made a specialty of me. Because there was knife which the sharpness that technique of sword supported was good for, there was Ise paper pattern of Edo-dyed clothe, and the finish that woodwork and bamboo work, metalworking, various sculptures including ivory were minute was enabled. We were respected as sacred treasures and inherited beauty as general art, and craftsman with high technique of sword and sword harness took transcendence art of Meiji after Law banning private possession of swords. Therefore existence of this section is awfully nice.
It is a long time since and power of design is said to be need so that folkcraft survives, but is not easy thing. But, in GINZA SIX, we were able to see some examples which could be realized in form filled with power. We may be rude, but seem to go for a while if we say nice miscalculation.
Text: Atsuko Tanaka Photos: Chihaya Kaminokawa Edit: Yuka Okada
As a new white cube on Chuo-dori came into my sight, the whole picture gave off a faint glow, appearing as if it had long been part of the Ginza landscape. This traditional landmark has been renewed and continues to contribute faithfully to Ginza’s atmosphere of refinement. But until I took this assignment, I hadn’t yet been to GINZA SIX. As a Tokyo native, I’ve witnessed the transformation of Ginza since I was very small. And I’ve always loved its suppleness, versatility, and flexibility: how it continues to be itself while undergoing transformation. I admit to being somewhat intimidated by the fanfare when GINZA SIX first opened, as if the high-flying early 90s had come again. I decided I’d go explore when things had settled down a bit. Some time has passed now, which I regret—because GINZA SIX is so committed to the arts and traditional crafts. However belated it may be, it’s actually exciting to take a look around. I’ve wanted in particular to visit Gyokusendo on the fourth floor, a seller of hand-hammered Tsuiki copperware with a 200-year history based in Niigata Prefecture’s Tsubame City.
The interior of the store gives me a sense for a next stage of traditional crafts. The ceiling, walls, floors, and tables are all covered with copper panels hand-hammered by professional craftspeople. The space is lit in the warm yellowish-pink light of a sunrise, with everything illuminating each other. It inspires a quiet glee. The kettles, pans, and pots on the shelves all feature simple designs born of practiced execution.
I imagine there’s no better space for this lineup, which has captured the hearts of people of many ages in Japan and around the world, since the contemporary appeal of traditional crafts is most clearly expressed in a sensitively rendered environment. A tailwind has driven craft objects vigorously forward of late, but this store gives me a sense of the rootedness of traditional crafts, which are never wholly consumed by temporary fads.
The kettles are made by hammering a single sheet of copper, including the spout. They’re representative of Gyokusendo’s highly refined technique. The samples on display here show you the entire process.
Assistant store manager Yasuyo Maehara and staff member Yamato Tanaka tell me they were both awakened to Japan’s traditional crafts after spending time overseas. A rising tide is also lifting those who promote these crafts. Gyokusendo’s store logo is an enlarged, hammered copperware pattern in the style of a family crest.
On the same floor, I visited neighboring D-BROS, which features products produced by DRAFT, the graphic design group. The challenge of the GINZA SIX store is combining design with traditional crafts. With joints and couplings exposed in the traditional style, the interior closely resembles the post-and-beam style of wooden buildings.
Traditional craft doesn’t coddle design. Nor does design destroy the essence of traditional craft. Rather, traditional crafts and traditional culture are embodied by the power of exceptional graphic design. In the branding process, says DRAFT president Satoru Miyata, they spent a great deal of time on research and preparations. Taking an approach similar to that of a craftsperson will no doubt yield a highly fresh take on traditional crafts that features both a light and authoritative touch.
These plastic flower vases are a popular and long-running D-BROS product. The slender vases, which puff out and stand up when water is poured into them, include motifs from kiriko cut-glass and Edo komon cloth.
An eye-catching-graphic approach was also taken for the large book of family crests, which was produced over the course of two years ahead of the GINZA SIX opening.
“Family crests are the starting point of graphic design in Japan,” company publicist Eriko Fujitani informs me. “We selected 350 crests we thought were interesting from among the 20,000 in existence and compiled them into a book printed on Echizen washi with traditional Japanese binding.” The family crests are all interesting. The combination of the two designs shown on two facing pages was superb. They are “Korin Komori,” I’m told—a bat with its wings spread—and “Sue Gotoku,” with opposing claws. You can certainly see the resemblance. The crest designs are also used on folding fans, wrapping cloths, and handkerchiefs. The designs that emerge from a study of the past truly sparkle.
The lunch boxes made with spinning lathes, a Niigata Prefecture industry, were also created specifically for GINZA SIX. A knob that opens and closes air vents improves the integrity of the air seal. The hydrangea and chestnut patterns are charming. With traditional craft initiatives, it takes time to come to a shared understanding with the craftspeople. It also takes time to penetrate the awareness of potential customers. All of it requires persistence. With its unconventional design, I believe this store will shine a light on a new side of traditional crafts.
Incidentally, I encountered some interesting art in the elevator hall. From a distance, it appears to be a pop assemblage of flowers. With a closer look, I notice the Edo komon motifs. The fusion of tradition and contemporary art is one of the highlights of GINZA SIX. Artist Shinji Ohmaki expands and combines Edo komon motifs, and then fills the resultant space with repeating komon patterns. We find same (shark), gyogi (courtesy) and matsuba (pine needle) patterns here, and works of varying expression are displayed in the South Elevator halls on the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors. The title is “Echoes Infinity Immortal Flowers.” Undying flowers are auspicious flowers also linked to boundless prosperity.
Moving to the sixth floor, a floor developed by Tsutaya bookstore with a focus on art, I come across intriguing books everywhere relating to the area of my profession. But today I’m headed to inspect swords. Yes, amazingly enough, this bookstore carries actual swords. Says concierge Satoshi Matsumoto, “When planning this floor, we debated what we thought was the ultimate Japanese craft, and picked swords.” This floor has a concierge assigned for each product category. It’s exciting to pick out books while consulting with these specialists.
You can find the aikuchi sword designed by Marc Newson, world-renowned industrial designer, which gained acclaim when GINZA SIX first opened, as well as contemporary swords from master swordsmith Kunihira Kawachi and his family workshop, plus a wide range of books from old and rare ones to manga, sword maintenance products, and carefully detailed sword-themed stationery. The space isn’t partitioned off and proudly displays a mix of products, which perhaps explains the steady stream of people who casually stop to look at the swords—something refreshing to see. The emergence of younger female sword fans and the popularity of the browser-based game Touken Ranbu are generating excitement. This is also something that draws many foreign aficionados. From my perspective as a specialist in crafts, I’m aware that Japanese swords have played a key role in advancing the country’s traditional crafts. Swordsmithing techniques made blades with good, sharp edges widely available, in turn enabling the creation of Ise paper patterns for Edo komon motifs. The highly intricate engraving techniques used with swords came to be applied to wood, bamboo, and other metal works, as well as ivory. While swords were prohibited in 1879, they were honored as if sacred treasures. Their beauty as art objects lived on. Craftspeople with highly advanced smithing and ornamentation skills gained with swords contributed significantly to the virtuosic achievements of the Meiji period, so seeing them featured here is a great joy.
It’s long been said that traditional crafts must draw on the power of design to survive. This is no easy task. At GINZA SIX, however, I saw a number of examples of this being achieved in a very powerful way. To say I’m happy to be proven wrong may be a bit plainspoken, but I certainly plan to continue coming back for some time.
Text: Atsuko Tanaka, Photos: Chihaya Kaminokawa, Edit: Yuka Okada
Atsuko TanakaWorked for a publishing company before setting forth on a freelance career. Researches, writes, and edits, primarily on crafts, kimonos, and Japanese culture. Helped edit the first issue of the magazine Waraku (published by Shogakukan) and served as supervising editor for the magazine nanaoh (published by President). Author of “Edo Handcrafts: Respectable People, Respectable Things” (Bunka Publishing Bureau); “When Kimono Flowers Bloom” (published by Shufunotomo); “Kimono in My Style: Introductory Guide to Real Clothes” (published by Shogakukan); “The Wonders of Crafts: Reliable Handiwork and Famous Design of Artisan Inheritors of Edo Style” (published by Kodansha); “Indian Calico Notebook: Beautiful Textile Design Loved the World Over” (published by Seibundo Shinkosha); “Calico: Beautiful Textile Design and Dyeing Technique” (published by Seibundo Shinkosha); and others. Also involved in the production of dyed and woven textiles and craftwork exhibitions.
Official Instagram account of the Wandering Editors