Hello, I am the designer Kazuya Iwanaga. Today I’d like to talk about our folding fans which are featured at our newly-opened store in GINZA SIX.

Just as Mr. Fukuzawa wrote in his blog post, we first conceptualized these products two years ago. When it was first decided that we will make a book about kamon, or family crests, we also wanted people to rediscover kamon, and popularize them even more. Thus, we also decided to create products that we use in our daily lives with kamon designs. We had various ideas of what products to make, but for the first batch, we decided to make three items – folding fans, handkerchiefs, and furoshiki cloths.

While folding fans are tools used to cool ourselves during hot days, they have also been used in rituals and in the arts since ancient times, and they were also used as ornamental objects based on the beautiful pictures that they had on them while open. Recently, uchiwa fans (paper fans that do not fold) have become popular, so now only a few people have folding fans, but I think that a folding fan is one of Japan’s sophisticated objects.

For the products specifically created for GINZA SIX, I chose the word “sophistication” for my theme, and I figured that the folding fan is precisely the object that embodies sophistication. Then, I consulted with Nishikawa Shouroku Shouten, a shop established in 1585, and made the folding fans with them.

We were especially particular about the “ribs” and the “kamon design.”

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For the ribs, we considered a number of styles, but we asked them to make a unique, original rib design to showcase the beauty of the kamon.

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From a design perspective, one feature of the new ribs is that only half of a rib is colored black, which actually required challenging skills. The ribs are made of bamboo, and bamboo has fibers. When paint was applied to the bamboo, the paint seeped into the fibers, so things didn’t go so well in the beginning. We asked them to make several prototypes, and finally, they were able to find a way wherein only half of a rib is painted cleanly and beautifully. It looks easy to do, but we were able to achieve this through the hard work and exquisite handiwork of their craftsmen.

Next, the kamon design. When people hear the word “kamon,” it sounds a little dated, and many people probably don’t have good impressions about it. I was actually the same, but when I looked at them again, I realized that there are many amazing kamon design-wise, and I also thought that it’s a shame that many people aren’t aware of this. To make young people and people like myself who don’t have a good impression about kamon look at kamon as part of modern design, we included color to serve as accents.

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Folding fans have complicated, fussy parts. But the form and gestures used when holding a folding fan are sophisticated, and I feel that holding one also improves one’s feelings. I hope that this product becomes the catalyst for people to reconsider and rediscover Japan’s sophisticated culture.

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▼D-BROS at GINZA SIX products which won the ADC Member Award may be purchased at the D-BROS WEB STORE.
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▼Back issues about D-BROS at GINZA SIX
A Book About Kamon, Exclusively for Our GINZA SIX Store
Part 6 of a Dialogue with Satoru Miyata – The D-BROS GINZA SIX Store as a New Endeavor
D-BROS’s Traditional Crafts Project “D-BROS at GINZA SIX” Wins the ADC Member Award!
Lacquered Bunkobako (Stationery and Letter Boxes): Traditional Crafts Meet Limited Edition Products to Commemorate the Opening of D-BROS GINZA SIX
The D-BROS GINZA SIX STORE, A New Concept Store by D-BROS is Now Open!

▼Back issues about Kazuya Iwanaga
We Asked the Designer of the 2017 D-BROS Calendar “Typeface Calendar” About His Thoughts on the Calendar’s Production Process
The Life of a Designer, Vol. 5: Mr. Kazuya Iwanaga Tells us About His Everyday Life
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Finished Product)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (The Fore Edge)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Useful Information)
Creator’s Diary: From Start to Finish (Completed Version)
CREATOR’S DIARY: From Start to Finish (Main Body)

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