Traditional Japanese Autumn Festival

Yuta Takahashi collaborated with Calligrapher Mami to create the visual design for a traditional festival in Shikoku, Japan. They wanted to strike a balance between craftsmanship, traditional culture, and modernity, embracing traditional Japanese culture by using modern design for this incredibly special celebration.

“During this traditional Autumn festival, a crowd of over 100 people carry an gold ornamented ‘taikodai’ weighing around 2 tons through the streets of the town. 2016 marked a special year for the ceremony as for the first time in 20 years the taiko drum, believed to house the spirit of the festival, was to be replaced. We were therefore commissioned to make a design in keeping with this auspicious occasion.”

“We therefore set about analyzing the materials necessary to construct the drum, paying particular attention to the rivets which would be essential for the drum's structure. The riveting, with determines the sound of the drum, was carried out with great care, and under close supervision. Our graphic design used the same number of rivets as an actual taiko drum, 150, in order to create a piece with an identity befitting of the ceremony.”

Every part of the design is purposeful and embraces the Japanese culture with a surprising modern and clean approach. Crisp white and black look incredibly sleek, and the flashes of red and gold truly pop. The calligraphy is elegant and juxtaposed with an incredibly contemporary sans serif font.

“For the calligraphy, we borrowed the energy and passion of young calligraphy artist, Mami, whose work has been celebrated both in Japan and abroad. This new collaboration proved fruitful, and Mami's bold yet delicate characters can be seen in several features.”

“Imabari towels are a luxury gift item produced in the region which have become a byword for high-grade towels. Made using premium supima cotton, the highest grade of high-grade American cottons, the towels are bleached using a natural method involving yeast, which earns them an ecological mark. Using traditional Japanese "kiribako" paulownia boxes, we created a novel, minimalist packaging design that synthesizes tradition and innovation.”


Designed by: Yuta Takahashi

Art Director / Designer: Yuta Takahashi

Collaboration: Calligrapher Mami

Client: Kamitemma Taikodai

Country: Japan