Edo spirit from the yesteryear is the heart of design

Kinya Takahashi has stories to tell

Artisan with Edo spirit: Kinya Takahashi

Every graphic motifs has a story, and Kinya Takahashi will be delighted to explain all the stories and connotations behind these designs which came about from the lives of Edo (Tokyo as it was called in Edo Period, 1603 – 1868.) Edokko*, or Tokyo-natives from this period enjoyed using pun and their everyday life were filled with wit, which are now expressed in his designs.

Sad to say, but many of the young Japanese are not familiar with those cultural backgrounds and stylishness of Edokko spirit, this is where Takahashi comes in, he’s a second generation owner and artisan of Takatora and a seventh generation of kimono dyeing artisan family, he loves to tell the stories.

“Pleasure is Work” says Takahashi. He believes in the old saying, “to stand out as an artisan with stylish flair, one must enjoy and master the art of pleasure.” For this end, he has never skipped his weekly lesson in kouta, a traditional ballad singing and its been continuing on for the past 40 years. By singing such traditional ballads, he gets to know and feel the lives of Edo people and his inspirations for designs starts to flow out naturally.

* Edokko: literally “child of Edo” is a Japanese term referring to a person born and raised in Edo (renamed Tokyo in 1869) for over three generations. Being an Edokko also implied that the person had certain personality traits different from the non-native population, such as being assertive, straightforward, cheerful, perhaps a bit mercantile, and also chic and stylish.

Kinya Takahashi’s works are sold at JapanUniqueGifts.com

 


 

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