Ceremony of the Traditional Festival of Japan by Yuta Takahashi
We carried out visual design for a traditional festival in Shikoku, Japan. During this traditional Autumn festival, a crowd of over 100 people carry an gold ornamented ‘taikodai‘ weighing around 2 tons through the streets of the town. 2016 marked a special year for the ceremony as for the first time in 20 years the taiko drum, believed to house the spirit of the festival, was to be replaced. We were therefore commissioned to make a design in keeping with this auspicious occasion.
We therefore set about analysing the materials necessary to construct the drum, paying particular attention to the rivets which would be essential for the drum’s structure. The riveting, with determines the sound of the drum, was carried out with great care, and under close supervision. Our graphic design used the same number of rivets as an actual taiko drum, 150, in order to create a piece with an identity befitting of the ceremony.
For the calligraphy, we borrowed the energy and passion of young calligraphy artist, Mami, whose work has been celebrated both in Japan and abroad. This new collaboration proved fruitful, and Mami’s bold yet delicate characters can be seen in several features.
Imabari towels are a luxury gift item produced in the region which have become a byword for high-grade towels. Made using premium supima cotton, the highest grade of American cottons, the towels are bleached using a natural method involving yeast, which earns them an ecological mark. Using traditional Japanese ‘kiribako’ paulownia boxes, we created a novel, minimalist packaging design that synthesises tradition and innovation.
We maintained a balance between craftsmanship, traditional culture and modernity, aiming to innovate on traditional Japanese culture using modern design.
Text: Yuta Takahashi