The 9th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award Shin Matsunaga

Award-winning work: Packaging design for ISSIMBOW“Katachi-Koh”incense

Message from the awardee

With fleet swiftness, ten years have gone by since Yusaku Kamekura passed away so suddenly back in 1997. I wistfully recall how, with proud conviction, he would habitually boast of how fair the realm of graphic design, based as it is on an individual’s real talents, is. I never imagined, however, that I myself would one day be the recipient of this design award established in his name. I say that because the first and second awards were bestowed, respectively, on Ikko Tanaka and Kazumasa Nagai, two of the grand masters of graphic design in Japan, only to be followed, to my personal surprise, by two young luminaries, Kenya Hara and Kashiwa Sato. In subsequent years the pattern continued, with the great masters and young designers winning the award in alternate succession, so that in the end I came to believe that this was an award I wasn’t destined to receive. Then here I go receiving it. I can just picture Mr. Kamekura smiling in mischievous delight at my surprise.
Mr. Kamekura, JAGDA’s founding father, was fond of dividing the graphic design realm into four generations, and he would place each designer into his or her appropriate niche. Today, however, there are five or even six generations that are dynamically active, and just recently I was pondering the notion that I must tell Mr. Kamekura about the heated competition for JAGDA New Designer Awards. The work for which I was presented the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award is my designs created for the “Katachi-Koh” series of incense launched this spring under the ISSIMBOW brand. I was asked to serve as total producer of all promotional and other materials relating to this brand, with the graphic aspect accorded central priority. Given how ISSIMBOW itself aims to promote wellness, I have made a pledge to myself to take this award as impetus to keep striving in the years ahead. I am very happy to have received it.

Shin Matsunaga

Shin Matsunaga

Born in Tokyo in 1940. Graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, with a degree in Design, in 1964. After working in Shiseido’s advertising division, established Shin Matsunaga Design Inc. in 1971. Major works include: posters for Shiseido’s summer campaigns and series of peace posters; CI planning for Benesse Corp., Issey Miyake Inc. and The National Museum of Western Art; packaging design for Scottie tissues, Can Chu-Hi drink, Gitanes cigarettes (top prizewinner in an international competition) and Shiseido “UNO” men’s cosmetics. Has held numerous large-scale one-man exhibitions throughout Japan and abroad, including Warsaw and New York, and his works are part of the permanent collections of 73 museums and other facilities worldwide. His many awards include: Mainichi Design Award, Gold Medal and Honorary Award at International Poster Biennale in Warsaw, Education Minister’s Art Encouragement Prize for Freshmen, Japan Advertising Award Yamana Prize, Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Government, etc. Member of AGI, Committee Member of the Tokyo Art Directors Club, JAGDA Director, Visiting Professor at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
(As of June 2007)

Book containing the design: Graphic Design in Japan 2007