This is an experimental R&D for 
    Monozukuri project, which purpose is to develop special 
    book-related gifts
     for their shops throughout Japan
    , reflecting characteristics of local manufacturing cultures in 
    Tokyo (Daikanyama Tsutaya Books) 
    has high concentration of publishing companies in the city center, and many supporting industries for publishing business such as paper suppliers, printers, and book binders are located in 
    the Shitamachi area
     (“low city”, traditional working-class area in the eastern zone surrounding the city center)
    . We visited 
    a book binder
    Bookbinding Company in Eastern Tokyo.
    The CEO is a leading figure at the local book binders’ association, who seeks future possibilities of the industry from his unique perspective
    . At the factory, a huge amount of paper is constantly 
     from one place to another throughout various processes (
    ) of book binding
    . We looked into each process as well as the specific paper carriage designed to serve each process and researched results of 
    our research.
     For Tokyo, we developed two kinds of gifts;
    Book-bound Journal
    3D memo pad
    Saga (Takeo Tsutaya Books) 
    a prefecture
     in the northwestern part of Kyushu
    , renowned for its production of local porcelain such as 
    , Imari
    , and Karatsu
    . We visited 
    a pottery distributor
    Pottery Distributor of Arita Ware.
    Originally the Momota family is a potter with a long history going back to 
    the Edo period
    , and now a Arita-ware distributor producing internationally-acclaimed contemporary Arita-ware products
    . Being an innovator of contemporary Arita-ware, they are also actively promoting young ceramic artists’ works. Arita-ware businesses have survived the fluctuation of the economy by dividing the entire porcelain industry into sub-industries specializing in various processes of porcelain production (
    ) and established a mutual support network among them
    . We visited the distributor’s factory and a porcelain artist’s atelier respectively; compared and examined their work environment and specific tools for production; and 
    researched the results. 
    For Saga, we developed two kinds of gifts “
    Coffee mug for book lovers
    ” “
    Ice cream cup for book lovers
    Miyagi (Tagajo Tsutaya Books) 
    its capital city, Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region, full of rigor and vitality of young people. We were surprised to find so many vintage clothing stores on the streets. We visited 
    a T-shirt manufacturer
    Handmade T-shirt Factory.
    The staff members, who had been trained at a dyeing workshop in Kyoto, produce high-quality work with much attention to every detail. They had overcome difficult times after the devastating Great Tohoku earthquake, and the factory had been rebuilt after being completely destroyed.
     Energy and young generation to activate the city is very strong, and each of T-shirts made by 
    the young staff members
    their creative spirits
     . After interviewing the employees about their motivation behind their creative work, we 
    the tendency of young people in major cities to migrate to big cities. We also looked into street culture including vintage clothing and researched the value of vintage items. For Miyagi, we developed a gift “
    Book T-shirt
    ”. In this project, we aim to create 
    Local Products
    that are not only beautiful and functional, but also that enriches lifestyles of the users. And not only 
    product development
    , but our ultimate goal is to investigate and unfold “the story of local products” through the method of artistic research where 
    the two creatives,
     Yoh Komiyama (product designer) Gottingham (photographer and artist)
      from different fields conduct on-site researches based on their own subjectivity; analyze and express the research results through artistic methods. Things they observed on-site, as well as words they exchanged with the people are accumulated into a “
    of knowledge
    ” (gift making, research, exhibition, and book). This website is a record of our 
      in search of such stories.

    March 2017