STORIES

  • Murakami from Suisen Brewery welcomed us warmly and spoke at lengths about Sake-making and stories about the disaster.

    迎えてくださったのは酔仙酒造の村上さん。日本酒の仕込みについて、震災後のことなど、いろいろなお話を聞かせてくださいました。

  • Let’s get started!

    いざ仕込蔵へ!

  • We were given the golden opportunity to enter the brewery. The designers learnt a great deal about the entire sake-making process.

    仕込みの時期ではないので蔵に入ることができました。多くのステップを経て日本酒が醸されるということを学ぶデザイナーたち。

  • The designers were busy taking down notes and writing down their bouts of inspiration.

    聞いたこと、浮かんだアイディアはすかさずメモ。

  • We interviewed the staff of Suisen- “How would you describe Suisen in three words?”, “What is happiness to you?”

    スタッフの皆さんにもインタビューさせていただきました。「酔仙を3つの単語で表すと?」「あなたにとって幸せって?」など、難しい質問も……

  • As night falls, we proceeded to a local izakaya for some Suisen sake.

    夜は、酔仙を飲むならここ!という地元の居酒屋へ。

  • Friendship is formed as the designers listened intently to Konno’s stories over cups of sake.

    2人ともお酒に強く、杜氏の金野さんのウンチクを聞かせていただきながら、いろいろな銘柄を楽しみました。友情が育まれた大切な時間。

  • Takata is a special brand of sake made by local rice. This later became a huge inspiration for the designers.

    地元のお米で作られる特別なお酒、「多賀多」。このお酒の存在がデザイナーに大きなインスピレーションを与えました。

  • Design process begins. The designers are connecting the dots with the huge amount of information given to them over the past few days.

    ここからは制作期間。大量にインプットした情報を整理し、アイディアにつなげていきます。

  • It is a race against time as the designers had to come up with the best design proposal in just three days.

    3日間という限られた時間で、でき得る最高の提案を。とにかく時間との闘いです。

  • Working late into the night. Presentation looms in a few hours.

    深夜になってもデザイン作業を続ける2人。明日はプレゼンテーションです。

  • Smiley faces after the presentation!

    プレゼンテーション終了後。みんないい笑顔!

SUISENSHUZO / 酔仙酒造Japanese Sake / 日本酒

Suisen is an established sake brewery symbolic of Rikuzen Takata city where it is located. The old brewery that was designated as an historical building was destroyed by the disaster, and has relocated its production facilities to Ofunato city since then. With the catch phrase of “passing down good sake to future generations”, Suisen continues to produce sake of the highest quality using fresh water from the Hikami Mountains, just like before.

陸前高田市を代表する老舗酒蔵だが、かつては歴史的建造物にも指定されていた蔵が震災で全壊したため、大船渡に生産拠点は移して醸造を続けている。美酒伝承を合言葉に、移設後もかつてと同じ氷上山系の伏流水を利用した飲み飽きない酒づくりを続けている。

For Door to Asia 2018, I would like to start from the word “Living the Dream”. Basically most of us, designers, work hard with the romance that our design can somehow change the world, according to many stories of legendary design, creating impact to the society, from mid of20th century. While in the present, I never see any chance how the design can slightly change the world — in better way. What I see is most of our designs could change the world by commodification every single thing, from tissue paper to belief, top-up unreal value to product byproduct, be a trustful equaliser and powerful speaker for capitalism. Then we, designers, could fill both ego and the leftover profit, spurting out from the gap of economic inequality which we have conspired with the investors, to our bank account. I am afraid to believe that design nowadays is the tool to make things off balance, instead of the tool to find the balance but it seems to be in this way, in any case.

The truth is, even I believe in fundamental of design, I had completely lost faith in design career. If my heart was a room, the dream of changing the world is packed in a suitcase, put at the far corner of the room, that I intentionally forget the key and passcode. However this whole story was before I attended DTA program. To be honest, I think I almost miss the chance to participate DTA program since I was very busy with community fieldwork at the time when the call-to-entry email was sent to me. It took about a week for me to check the inbox and reply.Fortunately, DTA team is so generous enough to wait for my response even we never know each other(anyway I think it was not quite a good first impression at all, sorry…) After a casual orientation I ever take with Miki-san, I at last be the one of the participant.

At first, I didn’t think I was so blessed to join the program. It supposed to be just a cool trip to unknown city with unknown design colleagues from 8 countries for 10 days. In fact, the program was intense, in a good way. In my life, I never do such exact things in exact timing like 10 days in DTA program. Everything was designed, well-crafted, from food we eat to people we meet. There are many times that I think to myself that our organiser, whoever who plan all this program, must be hard-working fundamentalist humanist monster who is very delicate to human touch as well as very legit to universal rule — or so-called ‘designer’.

About the location, scenery of Rikuzentakata is too good to be true — big mountain, pile tree forest, land, gulf and sea. While story of the city is too sad to be reality as well, since the first day in Rikuzentakata, I was shaken by the physical evidence left from the big disaster we saw in the city. It was such difficult feeling inside, neither happy nor melancholy, to express the city’s unique beauty. Even the city itself is easy to be falling in love, people are more lovely. It took me only a few conversations to acknowledge the gut of Rizukentakata’s people. While surrounding with problems, their willpower to stay in the city and stand by each other is truly amazing. Their pure spirit has made such impact to me, still. I have experienced with community projects for 3 years but I never touch the strong passion to survive, to grow up like people in this city. It was the first time I feel blessed because I come here to work as a designer which mean I am allowed to
create something — make a path from problem to possibility — with these strong-minded people.

As I said in above paragraph, the program was intense. However, it was well-planned and amazingly full-supported by DTA core team. Therefore I could paid all my attention and intention only to design work. 7 days in Hakoneyama Terrace and 3 days in homestay with Suisen Sake Company will be one of my favourite memory of my life. As a team, I was very lucky to have 2 wonder women with me — my design partner Yuni-chan and co-ordinator Shiori-chan. They are so talented, supportive, sincere, hard-working, pure and quirky. We quickly got in the same pace which I could ask no more from them. While our client from Suisen, Yuki-san and Yasu-san, who in the end become good friends, are very pure and honest. Without their passion for people and hometown, our final design proposal could not become something solid.

In my opinion, design is the way of creation between this and that. At the beginning, it would start with a single dot, then another dot comes after, then another after another and the dots becomes a line. Design is relation, there is no way design can solely achieve with a person or thing. It requires connectivity and I think DTA has the simplest structure to delicately weave people, organically between different kind of language, culture, belief, gender, into the one big pattern. It was such a pleasure for me to be there — as a participant, as a designer, as a free human and as a witness of the real power of design — the power of relationship.

I know everything is temporary, yet I hope everything happened there will stay a little bit longer, at least in our memory. See you again.

PRESENTATION

This is how it started. One night, the prior participant from Korea, In-ah sent me a message.

In-ah: Are you sleeping?
Me: No.
In-ah: Are you going to be free from July 22 to August 6? Are you interested in a free trip to Japan?
Me: Yes.
In-ah: Deal.

My decision to join this program was made in the only second. I already knew she was deciding who to invite to “Door to Asia 2018” since I’ve seen her tweets about that and I was interested in it. She quickly explained the ins and outs of “Door to Asia” after I had given her my confirmation. Although, a lot of it was about the decadent meals they were going to provide for myself and the other participants. (Every single meal they got us was unbelievably fantastic. Plus, I indeed appreciate that they checked my food preference or allergy in advance. I could enjoy eating without any worry thanks to their warm consideration.)

始まりはこう。ある夜、前年のDOOR to ASIAプログラムに参加したデザイナーのイナからメッセージが届いた。

イナ:寝てる?
私:ううん。
イナ:7月22日から8月6日まで予定空いてる?タダで日本に行けるかもしれないけど、興味ある?
私:イエス。
イナ:じゃ、決まり。

このプログラムへの参加はたった1秒で決まった。イナが今年のDOOR to ASIAプログラムへの参加者を探しているということは彼女のツイートで知っていて、私も興味を持っていた。参加への意思を確認するとイナは簡単にプログラムの説明をしてくれた。といっても、そのほとんどは期間中に提供されるぜいたくな食事の話だった。(私たちに用意された食事は、毎回信じられないほどおいしかった。事前にアレルギーや指向を確認してくれたのにはとても感謝している。温かな気遣いのおかげで何の心配もなく食事を楽しむことができた)

Even though I didn't have a specific goal or obvious motivation for this program, I was just attracted to it. I couldn't help but joining it. The bulk of my work deals with societal issues in my life, I knew I would be able to pull inspiration from my history as a social activist. However, I had no idea that this program would have such a lasting impression on me.

プログラムに対して特別なゴールや明確なモチベーションは持ち合わせていなかったけれど、ただただ惹かれていた。参加するしかないと思った。社会課題を扱う仕事を多くしてきたことも、社会活動家としての実績も、糧にできると信じていた。
それでも、このプログラムがこんなに長いこと私の中に爪痕を残すことになるとは思ってもいなかった。

There is an assumption that Korean people consume a lot of alcohol. And yes, I’m a classic Korean, at least when it comes to drinking. I definitely wanted to work with Suisen, a local Japanese sake brewery. Not only because I love drinking, but also I thought that I could create something crazy and fun if it had something to do with alcohol. I wanted to design something that could become tangible immediately. So I was assigned to Suisen. I was 100% ready to explore Japanese sake and become a fan of it. I was really excited to try their products for the research. I was happy to find an excuse to drink while working.

韓国人はアルコールの消費量が多いと思い込んでいる人は多い。そう、私自身は典型的な韓国人だー少なくともお酒にかんしては。絶対に地元の酒蔵である酔仙に入りたいと思っていた。お酒が好きだからという理由だけではなくて、お酒にかんすることなら、何かクレイジーで楽しいものを作れるという気がしていたから。すぐにでも具現化できるものをデザインしたかった。そうして酔仙にアサインされた。日本酒を探索してファンになる準備は100%整っていた。リサーチと称して酔仙のお酒を試すのは本当にワクワクしたし、勤務中に飲む口実が見つけられて私はハッピーだった。

Yuki Murakami, who works for Suisen, guided my colleagues and me for 3 days of company stay. He is an extremely humble and genuine person. Working with and learning from him was such a bliss. He led us to this journey of knowledge on their history, philosophy, science, and their hope for the future. He explained how the great tsunami has affected them, yet how they hadn't given up and kept doing well. We enjoyed chatting with important stakeholders—employees and the owners of the local retail shops and bars.

After the tour of the brewery, I discovered why many alcohols are also called spirits. They were pouring all their spirit into their sake. They treat their products like their own babies. Also, they sincerely care about people and desire to contribute to the locals. They wanted to make their product as a medium in which people can share their joy and sorrow with one another. Their ultimate passion for their products and people gave me the inspiration and fuel I needed.

3日間の事業者ステイの間私たちを案内してくれたのは、酔仙の村上雄樹さん。とても誠実で謙虚な人で、彼のような人から学び、一緒に仕事ができたことはこの上ない喜びだった。酔仙の歴史、哲学、科学、そして将来への希望ーそんな旅へ私たちを導いてくれた。津波がどれほどの傷跡を残したか、それでも諦めずに酒造りを続けてきたことも説明してくれ、大切なステークホルダーである従業員、地元の酒店や居酒屋のオーナーとの会話も楽しかった。

酒蔵ツアーを経て、なぜ多くのアルコールが「スピリッツ」と呼ばれるのかが分かった。蔵人たちは精神のすべてを自分たちの酒に注いでいるのだ。彼らは自分たちの商品をまるで赤ちゃんのように大切に扱っている。そして、地元の人々のことを心から思いやり、貢献したいと願っていた。人々が喜びや悲しみを分かち合うとき、酔仙のお酒がその媒体になれたら、と。彼らの、地元の人々や自分たちのお酒に対する究極的な情熱が、私に必要なインスピレーションや燃料になってくれた。

Techit Jiro and I decided to work as a team. We expected that our different ways of thinking and working would expand our viewpoints. We spread all the clues we had been given from the company trip and research, and then connected the points. We discussed and organized every insight.

テチット・ジローと私はチームとして一緒に制作することにした。考えかたや仕事の仕方の違いが、自分たちの視点を広げてくれると思ったのだ。事業者ステイとリサーチで得たヒントをすべて広げ、それらをつなげていった。すべての見識や洞察を議論し、まとめていった。

It was not hard to find that the region means a lot to Suisen. The local people have their own culture, history, characteristics and they've been getting through pain together. We got to an answer that the key is letting people know how to enjoy sake more. We tried to find some way to combine their products with regional things—local food, culture, and people. We set up company vision as seen below.

酔仙にとって地元が大きな意味を持つことはすぐに理解できた。地元の人々は独自の文化、歴史や特徴を持ち、ともに痛みを経験してきたのだ。そして私たちは、もっと日本酒の楽しみかたを知ってもらうことが鍵になる、という解にたどり着いた。酔仙の商品を他の地元のものー地元の食、文化、そして人々ーと組み合わせる方法を探った。そして会社のビジョンを次のように設定した。

[Vision]
(1) ENJOY: Local people enjoy Suisen sake more than before.
(2) ENGAGE: Out-of-towners come to Rikuzentakata and enjoy Suisen sake and local culture.
(3) EMPOWER: Suisen becomes a symbol of the local community.

ビジョン
(1) ENJOY(楽しむ):地元の人が酔仙の酒をもっと楽しむ地元の人が酔仙のお酒を
今以上に楽しむようになる
(2) ENGAGE(惹きつける):外の人が陸前高田を訪れ酔仙のお酒と文化を楽しむ
(3) EMPOWER(力づける):酔仙のお酒が地元の人が誇る陸前高田のシンボルになる

We completely focused on this vision and listed related design ideas. For example, one of the first ideas I had come to mind was an infographic tag showing some helpful information for customers to make a choice easily, like the product's category, flavor, alcohol percentage, recommended season to have, and location the rice was from.

このビジョンに完全にフォーカスし、関連するデザイン案を挙げていった。たとえば初期のアイディアとして頭にあったのは、お客さんが商品を選ぶ際に役立つ情報をまとめてインフォグラフィックのタグにすることだった。商品カテゴリーや香り、アルコール度数、オススメの季節、酒米の生産地など。

After brainstorming, we decided to suggest a new local festival “Takata Matsuri”. “Takata” is from the name of the region, Rikuzentakata. Also, it's one of their products' name which stands for ‘many, luck, many’. We selected 3 specific programs on each stage of the vision based on probability and consistency.

ブレストの後、「多賀多まつり」という新たな地元のお祭りを提案することを決めた。「多タカタ」は陸前高田の一部であり、「多い/賀(幸せ)/多い」という意味が込められた商品名でもある。実現可能性と継続性に基づいて、3つのステージごとにプログラムを考えた。

[Programs]
(1) The festival map: The sake-food matching suggestion
(2) The festival workshop: Custom-made sake label workshop
(3) “The Master’s World”: The chef visiting program

(1)フェスティバル・マップ:日本酒と食のマッチング提案
(2)ワークショップ:日本酒ラベルをつくろう!ワークショップ
(3)「マスターズ・ワールド」:シェフの訪日プログラム

The festival map is basically like a food suggestion map that presents which menu in which restaurant would go well with which Suisen's sake. A hopping and rewards program could be run with it during the festival. Second, the custom-made Sake label workshop would let people get involved in and experience the sake. It can be enjoyed by children, not only adults. They can take their own customized labels as a souvenir or gift. Third, “The Master's World” performs basically similar function with “Door to Asia”. It is more than the chef version of the program. Via the website, people can fund for chefs from other countries to visit the Rikuzentakata festival and create some special menu matching with Suisen's products. So that all the people can fully enjoy the local ingredients and the sake. That could bring more people to this.

フェスティバル・マップはどの酔仙のお酒がどの地元のメニューに合うか、レストランの情報とともに書かれているもので、フェスティバル会期中はスタンプラリーのようなプログラムもできるとおもしろそう。2つ目の「オリジナルラベルを作ろう!」ワークショップは、もっと人を巻き込み、お酒を経験できるもので、大人だけでなく子どもも楽しめる。出来上がったラベルはお土産として持ち帰ったり、ギフトにもできる。3つ目、「マスターズワールド」はDOOR to ASIAのシェフ版のようなもの。ウェブサイトを通じて多賀多まつりに参加したい海外のシェフをサポートできる。シェフは酔仙のお酒に合うメニューを考案し、祭りで振る舞う。祭りに来た人は地元の食材と酔仙のお酒をフルで楽しめるというわけだ。こういったコンテンツでさらに人を呼び込める。

It took us a long time to get there. But as soon as we had set up the plans, we went pretty fast on the detail visualization. I was in charge of the key visual. The key visual came out of the geographical shape of Rikuzentakata. Many small black dots on it indicate the spots of people, local places, culture, and nature.

ここまで行き着くのに長い時間がかかった。でも、提案プランを設定してから細かいビジュアルに落とし込むのは非常に早かった。私はキービジュアルを担当した。陸前高田の地理的な形を使い、黒い小さなドットは、人や地元の場所、文化や自然を表している。

Yuki and the owner of the business were present at the proposal presentation. After the presentation, the owner looked like he was inspired and happy. He said he supported our proposal and he was pleased to apply it some day. Something brought a tear to Yuki's eye. He must have had mixed emotions at that point. I don't know why we all were feeling so emotional. Maybe It was a gratitude for working with them and a shame for saying goodbye soon. I believe they are doing well on giving comfort to the locals and making a remarkable illustration of recovery from a disaster.

雄樹さんと酔仙酒造の社長がプレゼンテーションにいらした。プレゼンテーションの後、社長さんはインスピレーションを得て嬉しそうに見えた。提案に賛同し、いつか実現したいとおっしゃった。雄樹さんの目には涙が光っていた。そのときにはいろいろな思いが巡っていたに違いない。私たちはなぜか皆とても感情が揺さぶられていた。彼らと一緒に仕事ができた喜びや感謝、そしてまもなくさようならを言わないといけない無念さから来ていたのかもしれない。きっと酔仙の皆さんはその後も地元の人に喜びを与え、復興の重要な画を描き続けているに違いない。

It was a huge pleasure and inspiration to have spent time with such talented designers from different cultures. I'm glad to have those friends in my life. I deeply appreciate our interpreter Shiori's wholehearted help. We would never have done any of it without her active support. I am grateful to all for the memorable experience. My job for this program is not wrapped up yet. I'll be waiting for an invitation as a design advisor!

異なる文化圏から来た才能あふれるデザイナーとともに時間を過ごせたことも、とても大きな喜びであり、インスピレーションを得ることができた。生涯の友を得て嬉しく思っている。通訳をしてくれた詩織の心からのサポートにも深く感謝している。彼女のアクティブな助けがなければ、何ひとつ実現できなかった。忘れがたい経験をさせてくれたすべての人に感謝を。このプログラムでの仕事はまだ終わっていない。デザイン・アドバイザーとしてのお声がけを楽しみにしています!

PRESENTATION