Saturday, November 19, 2011

Japanese design: Eirakuya

In preparing for a talk on contemporary Japanese design I recently gave at The Japan Society I was gathering some examples from one of my favorite shops in Kyoto, Eirakuya, which is one of the oldest companies around being founded in 1615 during the beginning of the Edo era in Japan. The company began as a cotton wholesaler and developed into a retailer as well with name taken from the Eirakuya Tsuho crest which was sewn into the company's ancestor's ceremonial court robes. Their colorful, graphic designs mostly on Japanese scarfs are some of my favorite examples of the ancient Japanese visual elements persisting in the modern day (much of the designs are reprints from the 19th and early 20th century) and the products themselves range from printed handbags to scarves which I find are exquisite and suitable for a frame.

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