KAI FACT magazine
FACT  No.05

Many creators are pulling Tokyo up to a global standard.

Many creators in Tokyo have an eye for the world. Tokyo’s culture has been influenced greatly by the rest of the world. Now these creators are nourishing this influence by mixing it with diverse traditions, advanced technology and craftsmanship, and much more, evolving Tokyo’s culture to a world standard. We are introducing here some of these creators from Tokyo.

Entertaining the idea of absorbing global themes
and mixing them with the Tokyo atmosphere.

 Showing Tokyo’s appeal to the world, taking the world in and showing it to Tokyo. Mademoiselle Yulia has been a DJ in a number of fashion-based parties in Japan as well as having countless experiences around the world. ‘I will change my music selection depending on the country. It is important to meet with various people by taking an interest in the atmosphere and the things you experience then take them back to Tokyo,’ says Yulia. In the world of theater, Junya Yamada has won high praise for his work ‘THE SAKE’ at the world’s largest theater festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in 2014. His latest work ‘Infinity’ includes Kyogen, a Japanese dance and drum performance. ‘I wanted to make something impressive and I put everything I had into it. This is my branding and a presentation to a worldwide audience,’ says Yamada. He boldly mixes Japanese traditional culture with modern culture showing a new aspect of it to the world.
Mademoiselle Yulia
Yulia started DJ-ing in her teens, releasing mix CDs and original albums. She has started her own fashion brand 'GROWING PAINS' in 2016.
Yulia is playing at the bar space ‘HOWL,’ located in the basement of the WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO which has recently opened. It unites both hotel and entertainment spots. The lively area of Hachobori in east Tokyo is growing remarkably.
Junya Yamada
Junya has studied at Theater Group En and since 2004 has worked as a producer at DRUMCAN and established his own company, David J. Productions, in 2014.
‘Infinity’ has been performed only once on August 8th, 2016 at the Maihama Amphitheater. It was a major production he threw his entire soul into, uniting unique traditional art performers together.

While rooted in designs from abroad,
enhancing them into new products.

 ‘Private Spoons Club’ is a brand which specializes in bedding, pajamas, and room wear. ‘Much of the space in a single room is dominated by the bed and I want people to enjoy designing that space more like in other countries,’ says Miyu Imamura. Quality sleepwear will naturally improve the quality of one’s sleep. You can enjoy PSC items at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Macau this coming autumn. Overseas bedroom culture is now being exported to the world via Japan. You can sometimes create interesting things by mixing opposites. Koji Oba is a carpenter specializing in temple and shrine construction. He also makes things such as skateboards and jump ramps. The beautiful natural line of a shrine’s roof is one of the features that technology might be able to use in making skateboards. Both are made using the same methods. Oba’s creativity lies in his viewpoint, seeing these two culturally different things from a technical perspective.
Miyu Imamura
A founding member, together with stylist Michiko Yamawaki and others, of the Private Spoons Club which debuted in March 2015, and now its general manager. She used to be a professional singer.
Dealing in various goods for decorating your room such as pajamas, room wear, and bedding. Simple in design. Men’s designs available as well. Pictures on the right are items from spring & summer 2016.
Koji Oba
Koji began the life of an apprentice at 24 years old and became independent at 37. He established Oba Corp. and started WOODEN TOY at the same time.
The beautiful curve of a skateboard is created only from well-maintained tools and delicate work. Complete with the WOODEN TOY brand logo.

Aiming for more direct communication
with people's instinctive sense.

 The creative agency ‘Great Works’ originated in Sweden and understands the differences between Japan and other countries. ‘The nature of Japanese culture is to read between the lines, but such an emphasis on high context is not often understood in foreign countries. I am careful in how we convey our message in order to be understood in any country,’ says Yo Suzuki, creative director. He tries to appeal to people’s instinctive sense and in doing so what they make will naturally be better and simpler. ‘Whether we like it or not, the world including tourism is now coming ever closer to us. In such a situation, our ability to express ourselves as Japanese is tested while we also absorb the diversity of the world.’
Yo Suzuki
Great Works is based in Stockholm, Copenhagen, New York, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Suzuki joined in 2011, and is undertaking various creative endeavors including a promotional movie for KAI.
From the upper right/ From a rough, hand-drawn sketch, a unique idea is born. Lower right/ 'Creativity can change the world,' says CEO Yuji Yamazaki. Upper left/Meeting with Yamazaki for a future project. Lower left/ Suzuki has developed 3D projection mapping & 3D holograms for Toshiba, receiving an ‘A-list Award.’

Diving into the world of traditional food,
striving to create a diverse French cuisine

 Trained in Europe, French chef Shinobu Namae feels that the differences in cooking methods and flavors originate in the differences in materials you get from different lands. ‘By knowing these differences, you can show respect for another culture, then that will lead to enriching your own food culture with pride. I believe that is one way of creating peace,’ says Namae. ‘There is no comparing which is better, but respecting each other will lead to a brighter future.’ Namae is always trying to communicate directly with his customers. ‘Even if the praise is the same, by meeting a customer face to face, you can gauge if the words are truly from the heart or not. It’s hard to judge when hearing it through another person.’ Namae’s French cooking is not just simple French, it has its own regional character as he is always sincerely trying to consider the character of each region.
Shinobu Namae
Apprentice of Michel Bras, founded the restaurant L’Effervescence in Omotesando in 2009 and is executive chef.
Namae uses a KAI medical knife to carefully cut duck skin so that he can cut in to-the-millimeter precision for sensitive curved arrangements uses the tip for pointed arrangements.
Using domestically-sourced materials such as plaster and wood for a comfortable environment. Most of the food ingredients are locally produced as well.
Tokyo, Minato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 2-26-4

Tokyo | Article List

  • Share
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • printerest