続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|Webサイト編
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|Webサイト編

Sep 24, 2020

Follow-up | Message from MUJI—“Pleasant, somehow” campaign | Website versions

MUJI's corporate message campaign ads are viewable on the campaign webpage. Sixty-second videos present cleaning activities found around the world. These videos are streamed as a series of five movies, releasing one every two weeks, together with additional video to show details of the individual situations.

https://www.muji.com/message/2020/
Art Direction: Kenya Hara
Photography: Yoshihiko Ueda*, Taiki Fukao
Movie: Taiki Fukao
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto*
Copy: Kenya Hara, Mariko Hara
Design: Zhong Xin, Hiroshi Hosokawa, Takuya Seki, Yasuo Watanabe*, Motokazu Furukawa*
Sound Engineer: Osao Hori*
Producer: Satoshi Muraki
*Outsourced
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|書籍編
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|書籍編

Sep 18, 2020

Follow-up | Message from MUJI—“Pleasant, somehow” | Book

MUJI has published a book called CLEANING to coincide with its corporate message campaign. The 504-page photo book presents cleaning activities found around the world, classified into sixteen categories, such as "wipe," "scrub," and "remove."

The purpose of the book is not to cover all aspect of cleaning but rather to take an objective look at this mysterious activity and consider why people have engaged so industriously in this kind of behavior since ancient times. In a sense, it is a by-product of MUJI's advertising campaign. It also includes pages that provide a new overview of cleaning tools.

CLEANING is already on sale in Japan at 123 MUJI stores and at MUJI's online store ahead of general availability. It goes on sale at all MUJI stores and general bookstores in Japan in early October 2020, with sales outside Japan planned for November onwards.

The book can be purchased at the following Japanese language webpage.
https://www.muji.com/jp/ja/store/cmdty/detail/9784909098290
Concept and art direction: Kenya Hara
Editing and design: Kenya Hara, Takuya Seki
Photography: Yoshihiko Ueda* (pp.158–167, 208–209, 212–213), Taiki Fukao (except as otherwise stated)
Text: Kenya Hara, Takuya Seki, Mariko Hara
English translation: Maggie Kinser Hohle*, Yukiko Naito*
Illustration: Yukiyo Nemoto, Megumi Ohno, Haruna Furusato
Producer: Satoshi Muraki
*Outsourced
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|雑誌広告編
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|雑誌広告編

Sep 11, 2020

Follow-up | Message from MUJI−“Pleasant, somehow” | Magazine advertisements

MUJI's corporate message campaign includes magazine advertisements--three ads, one about preparing for the New Year (Nowruz) in Iran, one about a cleaning machine in China, and another about the ritual cleaning of a Great Buddha statue in Japan.

In Iran, villagers come together before the New Year to wash the carpets that they use every day. It is a cleaning activity in which everyone in the village participates. When the leader--usually an elderly woman--gives the signal in a loud voice, trumpets blare and drums roll, and everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets to work cleaning. The product of much time and effort in which wool is spun into yarn and then woven, these sturdy, beautiful carpets have distinctive traditional patterns that have been passed down by the villagers, generation after generation. The sight of the carpets hung out to dry on the banks of the river after being scrubbed with stones and brushes is very beautiful. MUJI was launched in 1980 based on the idea of pioneering a new approach that aims for a simplicity that is free from hang-ups about luxury, actively taking pride in simplicity. It was a time when Japan was experiencing an economic bubble. Since then, MUJI has consistently pursued its vision of a simple, pleasant life, and its product line, which started with about 40 items, has now expanded to as many as 7,500. However, there are a multitude of issues to address. Today, Japan's focus is said to be turning toward local communities, but many individual communities are beginning to age or face a growing risk of natural disaster. To be of use to such communities, MUJI is convinced that the manager of each MUJI store must learn about its surroundings and build close connections with the community in order to discover MUJI's future role.

The environment that has been modified by humans according to their needs is written as "人工" in Japanese, literally "human + work/craft/ingenuity," and translated as "man-made." The man-made should be comfortable, but when there is a proliferation of materials that are too corrosive or erosive of nature, like plastic and concrete, people begin to long for nature. However, if we completely leave nature alone, dust and fallen leaves pile up, and plants thrive wildly. This is probably why human beings have lived with moderate acceptance, and moderate abatement, of nature. Even when you build a house or create an outdoor space, it's uncouth and tasteless if the manmade aspects are overbearing. Let nature take its course to some extent; don't over-rake the leaves, or trim the greenery to the extreme. The secret of cleaning may be to discover moderate comfort: places where nature and the man-made struggle against one another, like the water's edge, where the breaking waves wash the sandy beach.This photo shows a scene from Shandong Province in mainland China. The cleaning machine appears a little old, but it still works and does its job. It's exciting to see China in the forefront today, but it's also beneficial to think back on the era when machines like this were invented. Considering the environment, one of MUJI's ongoing concerns has been eco-friendly materials. Environmental pollution due to single-use plastic bottles and other plastics is a pressing issue, but human activity is also a part of nature. One step that we can take towards restoring a pleasant environment is to trust our own senses and keep them sharply honed as we think about how we should live.

Every year on August 7, the body of the statue of the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple in Japan is cleaned in a ritual that is called Ominugui. Buddhist monks and believers dressed in white clothing gather early in the morning, purify themselves at the bath house, and then clean the Great Buddha together. Perhaps the hearts and moods of the people who participate also become radiant as a result of the process.In 2019, MUJI photographed scenes of cleaning around the world. This was before COVID-19 swept the globe. We thought that the essence of people, as living beings, could be found hidden in the act of cleaning, something that happens across cultures and civilizations--that perhaps there could be glimpsed a hint of the simple, pleasant life that MUJI has aimed for. Today, in the midst of a world that has come to a standstill, as we look over these photos and videos once more, we feel nostalgic for the 'ordinary' daily lives we lived before the pandemic. What is reflected there is clearly fragments of human joy. No matter how technology progresses, human beings have bodies of living flesh and blood; we can live full, happy and worthwhile lives by eating well, walking well, sleeping well, and cleaning well. MUJI's future lies in each MUJI store building close connections with its surrounding community, reaching communities throughout Japan. This feeling of being alive is the motivation for developing that stance.
Art Direction: Kenya Hara
Photography: Yoshihiko Ueda*
Copy: Kenya Hara, Mariko Hara
Design: Kenya Hara, Yukie Inoue
Producer: Satoshi Muraki
*Outsourced
続報|無印良品の企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」|新聞広告編

Sep 03, 2020

Follow-up|Message from MUJI−“Pleasant, somehow”|Newspaper Advertisement

MUJI launched newspaper advertisements.

At Nara's Hasedera temple, a monk's day begins with cleaning at five a.m. For more than 350 years, the wooden floor of the worship hall has been wiped with a cloth at the start of every day. In 2019, MUJI photographed scenes of cleaning around the world. This was before COVID-19 swept the globe. We thought that the essence of people, as living beings, could be found hidden in the act of cleaning, something that happens across cultures and civilizations--that perhaps there could be glimpsed a hint of the comfortable daily life or society that MUJI has sought. Today, in the midst of a world that has come to a standstill, as we look over those photos and videos, we feel nostalgic for our daily lives and routines. What is reflected there is clearly an essential human activity. No matter how technology progresses, human beings are bodies of living flesh and blood; we can live a full, happy and worthwhile life in eating well, walking well, sleeping well and cleaning well. MUJI was born of conscience and creativity. While working towards a comfortable life and society, we want to develop the ideal and strongest "foundation and universality of daily life" with our customers, who desire simplicity and beauty in their daily lives. In pursuit of a good relationship between people and nature, and a down-to-earth, refreshing way of working, and sharing with those of similar mindsets a sense of pride and satisfaction of being useful to regional communities, we aim to be indispensable to localities and lifestyles.
AD: Kenya Hara
Ph: Taiki Fukao
C: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Yukie Inoue
Pr: Satoshi Muraki
無印良品 企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」
無印良品 企業広告「気持ちいいのはなぜだろう」

Aug 28, 2020

Message from MUJI—“Pleasant, somehow”

"Cleaning" is the theme of MUJI's new corporate message campaign. The campaign copy, MUJI's message, is "Pleasant, somehow." MUJI aims to make life simple and comfortable. In the sense of eliminating the surplus and putting the essential into order, cleaning intrinsically fits that description.

In 2019, the photo & film team travelled the world shooting scenes where people were cleaning. This was before COVID-19 swept the globe. The very essence of a simple, pleasant life and society lies dormant in the everyday and ordinary work of cleaning, which transcends culture and civilization. Today, with the entire world at a stop, these photos and videos make us miss our ordinary routines. As you view the many different scenes of cleaning, give a thought to how they coincide with MUJI's thinking and methods.
The campaign features photographs by Yoshihiko Ueda, video by Taiki Fukao, and music composed and performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The interplay of the cinematic images and the piano music is a delight.

The campaign includes replacing the big visuals in MUJI stores. From day one, a 30-second film aired throughout Japan on all the major commercial TV networks. The campaign webpage is streaming a series of five 60-second videos, releasing one every two weeks. Each is about cleaning, consisting of detailed video of individual situations.
URL: https://www.muji.com/message/2020/
Visit the website to follow the campaign as it plays out.
Art Direction: Kenya Hara
Photography: Yoshihiko Ueda*, Taiki Fukao
Movie: Taiki Fukao
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto*
Copy: Kenya Hara, Mariko Hara
Book Design: Kenya Hara, Takuya Seki
Design for large-format in-store visuals, posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements: Kenya Hara, Yukie Inoue
Web Design: Zhong Xin, Hiroshi Hosokawa, Takuya Seki, Yasuo Watanabe*, Motokazu Furukawa*
Sound Engineer: Osao Hori
Producer: Satoshi Muraki
*Outsourced
LIXILの公共用トイレ
LIXILの公共用トイレ

Jul 17, 2020

LIXIL public toilet designs

Working jointly with LIXIL, we have developed designs that can deliver a level of cleanliness substantially surpassing the levels already attained by Japan's famously clean public toilets.

Integrating the flush inlet/outlet and user sensor components, this urinal boasts a minimalist shape with a surface area that is one-third less than conventional urinals.

The toilet is designed as one integrated unit, with a bidet built into the toilet bowl. It functions without a lid, and has extraneous fixtures such as bolts and pipes hidden within the unit. We maximized ease of cleaning by adopting a wall-mounted design that leaves the floor unobstructed.

The remote control has completely flat controls without any crevices, making it exceptionally easy to clean. Vibration and light provide feedback to ensure that the control interface is easy to operate.

The systematic design of the urinal and toilet, taking into consideration the space created when the units are installed, presents a new standard for public toilets in Japan.

Both of these products have been awarded the iF Design Award 2020 and Red Dot Design Award 2020.
AD: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Hiroaki Kawanami, Hiroyuki Sato
明治神宮ミュージアム
明治神宮ミュージアム

Jul 09, 2020

Meiji Jingu Museum

Meiji Jingu Museum exhibits articles used by or associated with Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, whose souls are enshrined at Meiji Jingu. Kengo Kuma designed the architecture, while Hara Design Institute handled the visual identity, signage, and exhibit graphics. The symbol mark for the museum was derived from the character "mei," which is the first character in the name Meiji Jingu, and is composed of two components, one symbolizing the sun and the other the moon. Here, the character is recreated, drawing inspiration from the stylistic forms of ancient Chinese writing, to produce a symbol mark that expresses the serene mystery of the shrine located in central Tokyo. Its square form with a circular element in the middle also symbolizes the museum space with a visitor inside viewing an exhibit. In the museum's permanent display area, banners provide a clear introduction to events and day-to-day customs at Meiji Jingu, such as by incorporating four perspectives--century, year, day, and individual glances.
AD: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Yukie Inoue, Megumi Ohno, Kensuke Ono, Shimpei Nakamura
無印良品のカレーのキャンペーンビジュアル
無印良品のカレーのキャンペーンビジュアル

Jul 09, 2020

MUJI Curry campaign visuals

Hara Design Institute produces the main visuals for the MUJI Curry promotion run every summer.

MUJI Curry is an independent food category. Recognizing its potential for major growth, each year we attempt to create the ultimate in simple and clear curry visuals to symbolize the product and drive the campaign. The aim is to firmly establish the MUJI Curry identity through a year-by-year accumulation of the essence that remains after relentless subtraction of information.

This year, the fourth year, the theme is Green Curry.
MUJI Curry campaign website:
https://www.muji.com/jp/curry/
AD: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Megumi Ohno, Zhong Xin, Hiroshi Hosokawa
Pr: Yuta Hosomi, Yukiko Kimura
台南市美術館
台南市美術館

Jun 19, 2020

Tainan Art Museum

Hara Design Institute handled the visual identity and signage for Tainan Art Museum, and also provided public art. The logotype is expressed with a design that emphasizes the straight lines in the detailed forms of traditional Chinese characters, compressing them to give a flat look. The design of the logotype was partly inspired by the fact the museum is in Taiwan, where the emphasis is on the traditional forms rather than on simplified characters.

The symbol mark is a fusion of the pentagon, based on the characteristic shape of the roof canopy of Building 2, and the initial M of "Museum." The straight lines of the mark make it readily adaptable, enabling it to be evolved into various forms.

The art museum consists of two structures, a modern art museum (Building 1) and a contemporary art museum (Building 2). The modern art museum (Building 1) is a renovation of what was once the Tainan City Police Department building, and is now a cultural and historical asset of Tainan. The contemporary art museum (Building 2) was co-designed by Shigeru Ban Architects and Taiwanese architectural firm Joe Shih Architects. The visual identity we provided creates a strong link between the two buildings, which are completely different in architectural terms.

We designed distinctive numerals for use in the signage. The very legible, attention-grabbing shape of the numbers alone spices up the parking space. The letters designating the individual galleries have a tall, narrow design and serve to create effective guideposts for walking around the complex structure.

Kenya Hara and Noiz Architects co-designed the public art installation entitled "Shadow in Motion" at the entry/exit No.3 for the underground parking space below Building 2. The work acts as a device that provides visitors with an impressive experience created by natural light thanks to specially arranged louvers, adding character to the access point for an otherwise unadorned underground parking space.
AD: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Hiroaki Kawanami, Megumi Ohno, Dai Yongqiang
Pr: Yang Fan
低空飛行JAPAN HOUSEへのコンテンツ提供
低空飛行JAPAN HOUSEへのコンテンツ提供

Jun 12, 2020

Teikuhiko—High Resolution Tour
Content for JAPAN HOUSE website

The Teikuhiko (High Resolution Tour) website has provided content to JAPAN HOUSE for use while operations are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
JAPAN HOUSE LONDON set up a dedicated webpage to present a high-resolution tour of twelve locations in Japan.


JAPAN HOUSE
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs program aiming to open the eyes of people throughout the world to the shocking realization of how little they actually know about Japan. JAPAN HOUSE stimulates renewed interest in Japan through complexes established in three hubs--London, Los Angeles and São Paulo.

https://www.japanhouse.jp/en/

Teikuhiko--High Resolution Tour
Teikuhiko is a website taking a close look at spots chosen by Kenya Hara to introduce particular aspects of Japan. Combining photography, video, and text, Hara personally edited the descriptions to share the inspiration he found on visiting each of these locations.

https://tei-ku.com/en/
AD: Kenya Hara
D: Kenya Hara, Xin Zhong, Hiroshi Hosokawa, Nana Miyazaki
Pr: Yoshifumi Nabeta