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Survey on the actual situation of Japanese design archives

what is going on?Design archives of these people


Shigeki Miyamoto

Furniture modeler


Interview: November 7, 2018 14: 00-16: 30
Location: Minerva
Mr. Shigeki Miyamoto
Interviewer: Tomoko Ishiguro, Ai Urakawa
Lighting: Ai Rika Urakawa



Shigi Miyamoto

Furniture modeler
Born in Tokyo in 1937
1953 - 1956 Worked at Saito Chair Manufacturing Works
1956 - 1965 
Miyoshi woodworking, Takashimaya workshop, Mitsukoshi Works, internal and external wood, Oshima wood and craftwork
Established Gotanda Manufactory in 1966
Established Minerva as a spinning company of Gotanda Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in 1983
Received the Yellow Rosewood Prize in 2007

Labor Ministry Central Skills Examination Committee, Chairman of Tokyo Chair Zhang Promoter Association Association,
Mr. Chairman of the All Japan Chair Zhang Kogyo Association Association Chairman
Approved by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare First-class Furniture Production (Chair Tensioning Work)
Holds the qualification of vocational training instructor

Shigeki Miyamoto



There is a job called a modeler that embodies designers' ideas.Make 2 dimensional design images to 3 dimensional prototype, and lead to commercialization while adjusting details.It is a reliable existence that supports the creative ingenuity as well as the experiences and technological capabilities cultivated over many years.Overseas it is known to exist in the field of furniture and automobiles, but Miyamoto is the first furniture modeler in the country.Work has been mainly involved in chairs, has been involved in the original furniture of companies and manufacturers, custom-made furniture for architectural space, prototype development, repair of cultural property, etc. from the earliest stage of Western furniture in Japan, contributed to its development .
I entered the first apprentice when I was 15 years old in 1953.In the 1950s he was a manufacturer of various furniture and had experience of making classical Western furniture using straw, horse's hair, coil spring (spring) etc.At the time, in the 1960s, he worked on producing imported furniture using petrochemical products that flowed into Japan all at once, and in the 1970s he acquired a global technology with top manufacturers such as Italy and Germany.Since the 1980s, the number of development projects with architects and designers has increased, many people visited Miyamoto for consultation, and sent out many masterpieces to the world.In his book "The Chieftest Chair in the World" and "The Chair Making 100 Years Story", experience stories about the development and restoration of chairs that we have worked on, episodes with architects and designers, and illustrations of the structure and material of the chair are posted It is expected that there will be many prototypes, drawings, sketches, etc., even if we look back on the history so far.
At the age of 81 in 2018, he is also engaged in vigorously diverse development, hosting a study session "Design Furniture" designed by architects, designers and designers together, and design education at various universities We conducted a survey on the actual condition including what kind of archives are and what they will do in the future.




Furniture restoration

Guest House (Formerly Akasaka Rikyu) (1970)
Museum Meiji-mura (1996)
The National Assembly Building (1999, 2008-2009)
Kannonkan (2002)
Japan Industrial Club (2003)
Kyoto Guest House (2005)
Imperial Household Agency Throne (2007 - 2008)
Imperial Household Martial Arts · Co-ordinator (2008-2012)


Co-development of chair

"Rainbow" Alflex Japan (1971)
"NT" Alflex Japan, Motomi Kawakami (1976)
"Origami chair" Kajimatsu Sakae (1980)
"Wink chair" Cassina Ixsey, Toshiyuki Kita (1980)
"Homage to Joseph Hoffman Vol. 2" Yamagiwa, Shiro Kuramata (1986)
"Flower" Series Edra, Masanori Umeda (1990 -)
"Utsurigutsuri" Hiroenen (1990)
"Gleaming Chair" Kengo Kuma (2003)


License production

"MODEL 7" Alflex (1971)
"CAB" Cassina Ixsey, Mario Bellini (1977)


Automobile / Veh

Night train "Cassiopeia" JR East (1999)
Electric car "Erika" Keio University et al. (2004)


Own development

"Bosco" series (1974 -)
"Tonelico" (1997)
"My Chair" (2001)



"Primary color interior timber book" Building research corporation (1996)
"The most gentle chair in the world" Kobunsha (2003)
"A Chair Making a Centennial Story" OM Publishing (2005)

Shinki Miyamoto Works



There is no thought that I want to leave something to posterity

Chronological table that is keeping track of era with background

- Last year, I heard from Mr. Kazuko Fujie, a furniture designer who talked about this NPO design archive actual situation survey, that Mr. Miyamoto has attached his own chronology.


Miyamoto Since I was a child, I have attached something like a memo or diary almost every day since I was a child, and I am summarizing it in a chronological table.I write not only about work but also private things, and also add events that occurred both in Japan and abroad so that we can see the historical background.


- It is starting from the era of the industrial revolution. "I declare that I aim to become a craftworker who crouchs the world. "" I am apprenticing at Saito Chair Manufacturing Company ", the place where I write in the deficit is Mr. Miyamoto's personal history. "Were you participated as a laboratory student representative at the Gagarin Farewell party? " "Sick house syndrome ", such as social problems of that era are written and it is summarized in an easy-to-understand way.What made you thought that such a chronology would be created?


Miyamoto What was the trigger?I did not have any particular consciousness to archive and I do not have that kind of ambition.Would it be forgetful to say it forgotten?For example, when writing New Year's Card at the end of the year, it is useful for looking back on the work you did this year.Then, along with Ms. Fuji, I am hosting a study meeting "furniture school" designed by architects, designers, and designers together, but this October is held at the workshop in Obihiro, Hokkaido Did.So I was also very helpful when I lectured about the chair I had ever worked on.In this era, it seems that chairs of such materials were mainstream, and large flow is easy to grasp.Rather than tracing the literature and following the history of past designs, I think that it is easier to feel reality as a way of looking at living my life overlapping and overlapping times as I feel.


- I think that this chronology will also be a precious archive.I think there are many other things such as prototypes and material samples, but the most troublesome thing about you is about the preservation of positive and negative films.Does Mr. Miyamoto also have pictures?


I am summarizing the paper-burning photographs taken in the Miyamoto development process, but it is enormous.There are about 30 Nissan-related albums.Every year, there was a time when we spent over half of the year to develop Nissan's luxury car interior.There are about 160 albums in total when repairing the chair of the cultural property of the museum in Aichi Prefecture.There are also pictures taken by professionals.


- There is no description in the picture of this album, but is it that Mr. Miyamoto is the one who can talk about this?Moreover, the pictures will fade more and more.


Miyamoto There is certainly fading.


- A series of serial articles on "indoor" that lasted three years since 1993 has also become a book "a 100-year story of making chairs."I think the illustration depicting the commentary and commentary on the furniture and materials of domestic and foreign architects and designers and the illustration depicting the sectional view of furniture are valuable archive materials.Do you still have the original manuscript of the time?


I think that Miyamoto has not remained.As my writing was bad, my wife proofreads what I wrote and gave it a clean copy and handed it to the editorial department.At the time I was busy with my work, I only had memories of being deadlocked by the deadline of the manuscript, but now I think that I am grateful to remain in books.


- Is the original of the illustration kept somewhere?


It is kept in the warehouse of Miyamoto Minerva's headquarters, and there are quite a number of sheets.I am not good at drawing things that are rigorous using a ruler, so I drew a sketch and I had a college student of a design system teaching me to write a fair.I am not very good at talking, so it's also a tool to follow that weakness.Because when you interact with an outside person, you understand at a glance if the opponent is a professional.It is often said that this furniture maker's people also show this illustration that it is important to further develop the existing chair.However, when the economy gets worse, the materials that are not visible in particular are becoming increasingly bad, like mockery.In order not to understand it later, I am doing it as a guide to know the material and structure at the time of the first development.


About prototype and materials sample


- As a material sample of the seat cushion, there are things in which straws, horses' hair, yak hair, chemical fibers, etc. are packed in transparent plastic bags in the same way as the real thing, but they are compiled in a clear and easy way I will.


As a cushion material for the Miyamoto chair, petrochemical products began to be used instead of natural ones in the mid 50's.From the time the Tokyo Olympic Games were held in 1964, we accelerated the furniture of various overseas brands landed in Japan as aircraft.In order to be able to make a chair with natural materials, it is necessary to practice for about 5 years, but in the extreme, in the case of urethane, even an amateur who just puts a fabric on a machine cut piece is made.At the time, it was thought that it was not a work done by a craftsman, but I thought that I was interesting and tried it.Even with such work, if you accumulate for years, you will go to the outstanding places on that road.
After that, after establishing the Gotanda factory in 1966, work got involved from various manufacturers dealing imported furniture.Considering that work amount increased at once, considering having a dedicated production factory for each manufacturer, Alfrex at the plant of Gotanda, Cassina at the factory of Minerva, Wilkhan at the factory in Saitama prefecture, Denenchofu at that time I had a factory, so I decided to call it B & B.I also worked on the development of furniture such as overman, asco, airborne and innovator.Currently there is no function called factory exclusively owned by the manufacturer.Since I came to 80 years this year, Minerva is managed by my son's head.I am a Gotanda Manufacturing Division, mainly engaged in prototype development and repair of cultural assets.


- Were the studio of Obihiro a function as a production factory?


Miyamoto No, there is no such function.The fact is that the factory in Denenchofu was in a residential area, so we decided that we should not make noises after a while and sold the land.I got the funds and I got a story saying that we will offer the land of Obihiro from Hokkaido's Tokachi branch office so we purchased the land with the feeling that it would be a place to retire when I get old.In Obihiro's workshop there are chairs and prototypes that I have developed, "Red and Blue" by Helit Rietveld, who I bought and liked, and "The Ox Chair" by Hans J. Wegner, etc. Would it be about 100 legs in total?There is an old age there, in recent years there was a wooden chair series "Bosco" I tried using various trees in the Matsubushi factory in Saitama prefecture, and about 300 legs prototypes There is.There are also stocks of rare solid boards.In warehouses of Obihiro, we hold southern trees including Southeast Asia and trees in northern areas in Matsudobu.Regarding prototypes, there was a person who tried listing before, but it ends in the middle.


Shigeki Miyamoto Document Shigeki Miyamoto Document Shigeki Miyamoto Document

Stocks and prototypes of wood kept in the workshop of Obihiro, Hokkaido.



- There are about 200 legs in the "Bosco" series, do not you think?Previously, in my book I wrote that I would like to pursue more of the charm of a wooden chair.


Regarding Miyamoto Tree, I have done a lot of things, but I feel something straying.A tree is not difficult but it is easy to understand, but it will not be able to escape as it gets deep like a bog.Even Aodamo has tried many times the possibilities of materials, but even with the same tree species the nature will change depending on the environment grew up.I thought about what would happen if I pursued such things without limit.And if we do not have social nature, manufacturing is not funny.I felt the charm of bamboo and challenged various things, but I do not know how much time and expense was spent.


- Also in the studio of Obihiro, based on the chair "ORIGIN" composed of Mr. Toshimitsu Sasaki's metal and bamboo, and "Barcelona · Chair" designed by Mies van der Rohe, Miyamoto is bamboo · You have a designed chair.


Miyamoto Although I lived in Izu, Shizuoka prefecture in my early childhood, bamboo was often used in my life.Children made rafts and bird cages by floating the stationary net along the coast and making net.At one time, picked up a short bamboo harvested in bamboo puddle, brought it home and stood at the bedside, the pillow was flooded the next morning.It means that it contains so much moisture.Besides, the surface is hard like a palm, but the inside is soft.It is easy to stick insects.Although bamboo itself is inexpensive, it takes time and labor to produce it, resulting in poor production efficiency and cost, so it is difficult to distribute it to the market as furniture.I am afraid I can do something, but it is not quite right.I am working with a designer who is still there.


Unfinished prototypes in the middle of development


- Some of the prototypes that are kept are also under development, which can be developed in the future.Have you ever received a story from designers wanting to make previous products and prototypes again?


Miyamoto Mr. Masayuki Kurokawa's chair "ZO" is exactly the case.It was designed in the 1980s, but after 20 years passed, we started manufacturing again.Some of the prototypes have been launched by the designers in their last years, some of them are incomplete as they died in the middle of development.I am thinking that it is also hard to throw it away, I think that I should manage the continuation.


- It is an archive that should also be left in posterity.The furniture that Shigeru Uchida worked with in Hong Kong's entrepreneur, Adrian Chen, and cooperatively developed the last time was also wonderful.Even when I heard a story in the design archive survey, I was keen to have a passion for wanting to make things, and I was overwhelmed by that spirit.


Miyamoto That's why the gut feeling of wanting to make things until the end is important.A designer who recently wanted to make a new work, I met and heard a story.Since there is no other way to express the colors and expressions of the designer in this industry, we definitely want to do our best to commercialize it.


- We look forward to completion of the furniture.Are the prototypes stored other than Obihiro and Matsudobu?


There is a gallery called "Evening God" of about 50 tsubo in the Hotel "Hokuten no Okabiri Lake Tsuruga Resort" in Abashiri, Hokkaido, where there are also a few in Miyamoto Minerva and Gotanda Mfg. , There is a collection of 20 chairs that I have developed.Phillip Starck 's three legs "Mannin" and prototypes close to finished goods are included in the restaurant of Sendagaya in the 1980s, all can sit and experience.Among overseas designers, especially Italians are good at pulling out the ideas of making, it is a producer.In such society, I think it is easy for craftsmen to grow up.In the case of Japan, especially when I was an apprentice, it was defined as a good craftworker to make sincerely as drawn by the teacher.


- Are the drawings kept?


It feels like there may be some that Miyamoto still has.There were lots of interesting things, so I wish I had left all of them from now.There are plenty of custom-made furniture related drawings, and there are considerable amounts of drawings by Mr. Motomi Kawakami.Mr. Kawakami was a type that drawn precisely and precisely to the length of the wood screw.However, I thought that it was a new generation of people with the flexibility to accept what I suggested without denying it.Hironen et al. Had only the first sketch painting when developing the "Utsuriguchi" chair.It was such a strange shape as a witch's hat, and it was an important theme to give out softness, so it was extremely difficult to bring it to realization that destroys its structure.However, it was pleasant to be motivated as a craftsman.


- In the development of furniture, most architects and designers may have visited Mr. Miyamoto once in consultation.I think that I have been working with various designers both in Japan and abroad, but have you ever wanted to try this person with this person?


I think that I wanted to work with Mr. Miyamoto Ohashi. "Hanan · chair "is interesting, is not it?Hilonen is also true, but I would like to touch on those who have values that I can not understand why they think so.It is like touching a dangerous place.


I want to absorb different values from them


- Although it is taught at various universities such as Musashino Art University, Tama Art University, Women's Art University, Komazawa Women's University, what kind of lecture is being done?


Miyamoto The other day I made "BOBO" chair like chuni · boieri's urethane chunk released from Alflex in 1967.I took the mold and worked on sewing machine on fabric to complete it in 3 days.Previously, Rietveld painted a half size of the side table "Schroder 1" designed in 1923, painted with veneers and made it.As I was able to trace the footprints of Rietveld's thinking in the midst of making it actually, I was hoping that various ideas would be drawn out and new discoveries would be made there, but after completing my composition If you let me write, they were almost the same contents.It's like pulling from the net, so the sentences are exactly the same.That surprised you.


- That was disappointing.


I have been involved in the review of the graduation work of Miyamoto University.At that time, "strength" was emphasized as a design educational policy at the time.For example, if the legs of a chair are grasped and a problem is felt in strength, they are excluded from the scope of scoring.I thought that the chair of the student in the year of the judgment was interesting.About the strength, I felt a little uneasy, but I felt various possibilities and evaluated it.However, it was also not elected because it had problems in terms of strength as well.I thought that it was strange that the world of creation would be narrowed by such a thing.It does not matter how much strength it is.Still, I think that it is not important that there are wings that can fly and fly.There was also a time when I got hot and had a serious relationship with teachers.


- From the 1990s to 2000 I think that the extra-campus workshop "M Project" that Mr. Miyamoto was presided was also an interesting activity.Excellent students were selected from each beauty university and learned from redesigning old chairs, but Keisuke Fujiwara, Hiroshi Yoneya, Mr. Kenya Uesugi, Mr. Yoshiaki Yamada, etc., later worked There are many designers being done.


Miyamoto Now it is the best in mid - level ne.Approximately 50 students were involved in 13 years.Although there was also a prototype that I made at that time, I thought that I had better keep it myself and returned it to the applicant about two years ago.


- I often teach young people at "Furniture Cram School", "M Project", University etc, but do you have a desire to convey their experiences and knowledge to them?


Miyamoto I want to absorb different values from them rather than telling experiences and knowledge to them.It is fun to have completely different things from there, and there are also things you have to change yourself.Although I was talking about archiving at the beginning, it may be said that I do not want to tell you that I want to tell something of myself to future generations, or to leave.


- But, I think you have a huge amount of materials.Are they thinking about finally giving up to my son?


Miyamoto How is it?My son also has different values.Regarding materials and prototypes, I hesitate to say ... I am thinking what to do. By the way, I recently contributed to these booklets.I am an honorary chairman, I wrote a variety of industry terms and knowledge on furniture in a small column in the 60th anniversary of the All Japan Chair Zhang Fellowship Association.


- You said the chair-clad craftsman as a banque shop. "He said that the easy chair was a large banco, the armchair was a medium banco, the small chair was a small banco, and the chair builder was a banque shop.Spain, Portugal, Dutch."All Japan Chair Zhang Fellowship Association, from 2016).This is also an interesting content that is likely to be an archive material that knows the history of furniture.


Miyamoto Somehow, recently, I just turned to turning the past.You do not hear much about the future, do you?


- Please let us know your future ambitions.There are still a lot of things you want to do, are not you?


Miyamoto Since many sofas were handled so far, I would like to finish the field centered on fabric.In the act of sitting, called a chair, the design's content is not so big.So I thought if I could change to a completely different thing by wearing it based on the sofa, wearing it, putting on it, putting it on, or changing it, I joined with people called fashion designers, I want to challenge to find out.I think that there are many ways of expression.


- That sounds interesting, is not it?Does anyone have a designer who is imagined?


Miyamoto I think that young people are more interesting.I am also interested in expressions like ethnic costumes, silk and denim, texture with texture.


- I am looking forward to realization.Thank you for today.





Shigeno Miyamoto's archive location

Contact address
Gotanda Manufacturing Co., Ltd.



Shigeki Miyamoto Document Shigeki Miyamoto Document

Shigeki Miyamoto Document

Materials stored in Minerva headquarters, wood stocks, material samples.




what is going on?
Design archives of these people

There is also the possibility of changing subjects of survey.

The subjects (individuals) to be surveyed have been selected, including those who have already died, referring to the 2006 Asahi Shimbun publication "The Great Masters who have designed Nippon".

* Is a person who has died.




Let's talk about Shiro Kuramata

Symposium held

Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991) is a legendary designer who was active in the 1960s and 1980s.
His character and his work continue to fascinate people all over the world.
Thirty years before his death, he held a symposium to connect the design of Kuramata to the younger generation from the past to the present and the future as "Introduction to Shiro Kuramata".


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