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preface 1992

Preface by
Reiko Chikada

I found a roll of yellowed Japanese paper in my cabinet. I unrolled it and found a familiar Choju Giga (caricature of birds, animals, and human).

It was a reproduction I made soon after entering Tokyo University of the Arts. As I gazed at my painting that copied the sample faithfully with bold strokes, I strongly recognized what I tried to see at the age of 19. My eyes of that time have led me here, where I stand now.


From Brochure 2013 Edition

I saw the "Kage Fuji (shadow cast by Mount Fuji)" from the Kengamine peak of Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan (3,776 meters high.)

In the dim light of dawn, the black shadow on the foot of the mountain looked like as drawn by an air brush. Looking both at the "first sunrise" appearing on the horizon and the "Kage Fuji" created by point light source, I felt my "Japanese DNA" inside.

I had spent the winter break in Benetsia of Italy at the end of December. Saint Mark's Square is soddenness for four hours between the high-tides every day. The tourist cannot help walking in succession on the passing board of about 1m width. However, It was settled with hod degree 15 years ago, now 40 centimeters height is needed. Water overflows on not only Saint Mark's Square but also various places of the road in Benetsia. It is 25 centimeters in a deep place. If not boots, gets wet. Dob and sewage might flow, so I had not wont to get wet. A tightfisted stainless board is set in the entrance of shops for the flood prevention. Still, the clerk is busy to get rid of the water that soaks through somewhere every morning. The waste water pump is installed from the floor to the height of about 40 centimeters in any house, water has been exhausted from here and there to the road. it is shrouded in smell that gets damp and fishy smells after water pulls completely.

If this is Japan, the tide embankment is already have been made in the waterside. Between protecting spectacle in beautiful waterside, and threat of nature. How do the Benetsia citizens solve this difficult problem? Global warming and subsidence. Various influences begin to appear in Japan. It's tickler. As one of the earthlings, my being able to do is designs that uses energy efficiently up to now

From Brochure 2008 Edition

I have twice been to a small village at the outskirts of Taipei to enjoy the Sky Lantern Festival, which is held around the 15-th day of the Chinese New Year. This festival began, they say, in an ancient time, when this village was attacked by gangs. After the village people defended, they informed their children, women, and elderly, who had escaped in the mountains, by sending lanterns into the sky.

Put an oil soaked paper at the bottom of the lantern and light it. After the lantern is swelled with warmed air, write your wishes on it. At the right moment, let go the lantern. It was the moment my wishes were heard by the Heaven.

More than hundreds of pink, yellow, green, orange, and white lanterns were floating in the dark air. Even at the top of the mountains, they were floating like twinkling of fireflies.

From Brochure 2005 Edition

I spent a fantastic week in Kenya. While staying at Mr. Apollo's home, with no power line, only the lighting was an oil lamp. One night, I awoke midnight, all in the dark. The light had gone out in the bedside. I felt my way to my guide Philis' bedroom. And I saw the light. A tiny, tiny fire, but still shining. Suddenly I realized a simple rule, you dim it and you save it. This became an unforgettable experience.

From Brochure 2002 Edition

In 1910, many lamp manufacturers including GE gathered from around the world to hold a meeting. Through the discussion, they were to decide a new name for the light which we now call an incandescent lamp. And they came to a conclusion. The name was, a "Mazda Lamp." This name was also used in Japan from 1913 to 1963.

This name, "Mazda," comes from Aura Mazda, the highest diety of Zoroastrianism in ancient Persia. Mazda was believed to be the origin of light. Zoroastrianism worshiped fire, and is famous for the good and evil dualism and eschatology which deeply affected Goethe and Nietzsche.

Furthermore, to our surprise, Zoroastrianism is deeply embedded in the way the Japanese think, particularly in the origins of some faiths; Yama, Indra, Asura, Sarasvati, Avalokitesvara, and Maitreya. One of the Bon Festival's customs, waiting for ancestors' spirits with a small fire in front of the house, also comes from Zoroastrianism.

When I saw the holy fire in the temple of Yazd, the sacred place in central Iran, I had shivers go up and down my spine. The fire looked like it had a soul.

Fire fascinates some people.

Before designing light, we have to understand fire. I have to tip my hat to our predecessors for choosing "Aura Mazda" as the name of a light bulb.

From Brochure 1998 Edition

When I was in my twenties, I had an opportunity to go to an indoor Classical concert event held at Schioss Herrenchiemsee (Aerrenchiemsee castle), where Ludwig II of Bavaria once lived.

I took a boat ride to a small island in the lake, where the castle is situated on, and I took a ride in a horse carriage from the dock to the castle entrance maneuvered by the horseman disguised in the 19th century costumes. Being in this candle-lit carriage made me feel like a Cinderella.

When I got into the room of the mirror where the concert took place, i found every one of chandeliers in the room decorated with hundreds of real candles in them, And those crystal-like glittering chandeliers gave me a such different world that music later seemed to sound far more lively and enjoyable. It became clear and comprehensive to me that back them, aristocrats enjoyed the dances at nights after having slept the whole afternoons.

The awe that the light has a mysterious power later inspired me to get into the fields of light.

From Brochure 1995 Edition

Designing lighting resembles to writing a mystery novel. In a continuous space, lighting in individual rooms describes the relationship among them.

Like illustrating the cast in the novel, characterizing each space one by one, the lighting drags visitors into searching the criminal. Finally the visitors find out the most important place in the building, the criminal, and they rest in deep satisfaction.

Thus, the pleasure of a designer is in arranging lights dynamically along movement of visitors and along passing of time just like writing mystery. It is not in designing static scenery.

From Brochure 1992 Edition

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