Junichi Arai (1932 – 2017) was a Japanese textile designer and producer born in Kiryu, Gunma. As the sixth generation of a mill-owning family, Arai grew up with fabrics being woven for obis and kimonos. He held traditional weaving methods in high regard and the skills that only the human hand can have in the art of fabric making.
Masakazu Kobayashi studied at the University of Arts, Kyoto, Japan. He manifested traditional textile techniques and aesthetics in his work. Between 1966 and 1975, he worked as a textile designer for Kawashima. His 1982 fabric evoked komon, a textile dyeing technique which uses paper patterns with small motifs.
The arrangements of flowers offer far more than a pattern employing flowers and foliage neatly distributed in an appropriate container.
Not only is it a form of relaxation, but flower arrangement reawakens an awareness of nature upon which a philosophy – that of restraint and simplicity — is based.
He set up his own design office in Osaka in 1964; in 1969, he began designing furniture for Italian and Japanese firms; he collaborated with Silvio Coppola, Giotto Stoppino, and Bepi Fiori for Bernini. He is best known for the 1980 Wink articulated armchair produced by Cassina, which took four years to design;
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), was an American sculptor and designer. He was born in Los Angeles and professionally active in New York. He was influential and well-received in the twentieth century. He produced sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs throughout his lifetime of creative experimentation. His work, both subtle and bold, traditional and modern, set a new standard for reintegrating the arts.
Nara grew up in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, about 300 miles north of the Tochigi Prefecture. His exposure to Western music on the American military radio station Far East Network in Honshu influenced his artistic imagination early. Later, he would provide cover art for bands including Shonen Knife, R.E.M., and Bloodthirsty Butchers.
Netsuke: A little Japanese sculptured item of ivory, wood, or porcelain that ranges in height and width from one-half to three inches. Mythological images, flowers, animals, gods, and goddesses are among the carvings. Netsuke pieces were initially employed as toggles in the fourteenth century. A cord was slipped under and over the obi and through a hole in the netsuke.