NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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増永眼鏡 Kazuo Kawasaki Ph.Dのアイウェア Masunaga-megane Kazuo Kawasaki Ph.D-no-Aiuea Masunaga Eyeglass by Kazuo Kawasaki Ph.D

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Masunaga Optical Mfg Co., Ltd is the oldest eyeglass maker in Japan and located in Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture, one of the three biggest eyeglass frame producing districts in the world.
Masunaga Eyeglass was designed by Kazuo Kawasaki who was born and raised locally. The eyewear was awarded Silmo d’Or at the Silmo Eyeglass trade show held at Paris in 2000.
Without using screws and by applying lightweight and flexible beta titanium in its frame, Masunaga eyeglass has achieved a high level of comfort for the wearer. By attaching the lenses to the frames at only one point, it is designed so that the vision is not distorted when the arms are flexed at the temple points. The lenses and the pupils are always equidistant.
Masunaga eyeglass, born from a concept of “smart and high technology”, achieved functionality and nobleness realized by the combination of  the Kazuo Kawasaki’s industrial design and Matsunaga’s superb techniques.
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志村ふくみ(人間国宝) Shimura Fukumi Fukumi Shimura (Living National Treasure)

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Fukumi Shimura was born in Omihachirin, Shiga Prefecture, in 1924. In 1990, she was designated as a Living National Treasure for her work in Tsumugi-fabric.

When she was 17, she started learning weaving from her mother. When she was 30, she decided to work independently as a Tsumugi-fabric craftsman and divorced her husband. She learned plant-dyeing on her own and made lively works one after another.

Her work's charm is in its harmony of rich colors, carefully extracted from nature's plants. She integrated traditional patterns, like stripes, with plant-dyed silk and developed Tsumugi-woven kimonos into art. Her efforts and accomplishment have been highly valued.

Shimura has made many works on the theme of historical stories; she chose 'The Tale of Genji' in particular as her lifetime work. Her gracefully woven tsumugi with plant-dyed silk presents heartfelt images from these stories .
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截金 Kirikane Eri Sayoko's Kirikane Decoration

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'Kirikane' can be written in two different ways in kanji and is sometimes called 'hosogane'. Kirikane is a decorative technique used mostly on Buddhist artworks. The process involves placing several small lines or streaks, triangles, squares and other shaped sheets of gold and silver on the tip of a brush and aligning and pasting them in varying patterns and arrangements.

This technique is thought to have been introduced to Japan in the 6th century along with Buddhism itself. The oldest kirikane decorations can be seen: on the Four Celestial Kings in the main hall of the Horyuji Temple dating to the Asuka period; on the Four Celestial Kings in the sub-temple and ordination hall of the Todaiji Temple; and on the surface of a treasure called the Shinra-koto (a musical instrument) in the Shosoin.

In the Heian period, kirikane flourished as an elegant and majestic art technique for Buddhist art and became the acclaimed and outstanding technique that it is today.

Living National Treasure Eri Sayoko, who was born in 1945, is a kirikane artist and was designated as a holder of this important intangible cultural property in 2002. Her astounding kirikane work, in which she can deftly handle a string of gold leaf thinner than a piece of hair, is simply amazing. It is difficult to believe that her elegant and eloquent designs were done done by hand. This explains why she is so highly acclaimed and respected.
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