Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Muji chairman Masaaki Kanai and product designer Naoto Fukasawa

In 1980,  Seiji Tsutsumi, a cultural intellectual and founder of the Saison Group, joined with other creative minds of his time in Japan to investigate and pursue an advanced consumer society at the structural level. The outcome of their research was the concept “mujirushi” (“unbranded”) and the value “ryohin” (“products of good quality”). Ryohin Keikaku is committed to upholding these ideas and to further thought about what it means to live a pleasant life, for the citizen of Japan and the citizen of the world. This event, which marks the opening of Boston’s MUJI flagship store, will feature presentations by Masaaki Kanai, chairman and representative of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd., and Naoto Fukasawa, product designer at Naoto Fukasawa Design and member of MUJI’s design advisory board.

1980 年の日本で、セゾングループの総帥であり文化人でもあった堤清二氏と氏のブレ ーンであった日本を代表するクリエイター達が目指したより良い消費社会とより良い 生活者の像が、無印という立場と良品という価値観を生み出しました。私達はその思想 を継承・探究し、日本にとどまらず世界に向けて「感じ良いくらし」について市民の中 から考え続けています。

“MUJI: The Antithesis of Consumerism and the Search for a Better Way of Living”
Masaaki Kanai,chairman and representative of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd.

Masaaki Kanai entered Ryohin Keikaku in 1993 after working for Seiyu Stores (presently Seiyu GK). As a longtime general manager of the household division in merchandising, he contributed to the growth of Ryohin Keikaku by directing the household division, a main pillar of its sales. Later, as managing director and general manager of sales headquarters of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd., he undertook structural reforms of the company. In February 2008 he became president and representative director; in May 2015 he advanced to his present position as chairman and representative director. Since his career at Seiyu, he has been involved in sales and merchandising for “MUJI.” Since September 2009, he has held the position of president and representative director of IDEE Co., Ltd., a group company of Ryohin Keikaku. He is working on improving the corporate value of whole Ryohin Keikaku group companies.

“Objective Thinking”
Naoto Fukasawa, product designer, Naoto Fukasawa Design

Naoto Fukasawa collaborates with the world’s leading companies and brands in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Scandinavian countries, and Asia, meanwhile consulting locally for leading companies in Japan. His expertise is broad and he works in various fields and categories of design. He is a codirector of Japan’s first design museum, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, and director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum; he serves on the design advisory board of MUJI. He was chairman of the Good Design Award in Japan from 2010–2014.

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