Japanese designer of soy sauce bottle dead
Japanese designer of soy sauce bottle dead.Kenji Ekuan, considered one of the pioneers of modern Japanese industrial design and father of the iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, has died at the age of 85, his office announced Monday.
Tokyo: Kenji Ekuan, considered one of the pioneers of modern Japanese industrial design and father of the iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, has died at the age of 85, his office announced Monday.
The designer, who died Sunday at a hospital in Tokyo due to a heart complication, in 1961 conceived of the iconic teardrop-shaped design with a red plastic anti-drip top which Kikkoman continues to use for its soy sauce bottles.
Since then the company has sold hundreds of millions of bottles with the design which combines simplicity, usefulness and beauty, and became synonymous with soy sauce in Japan as well as the rest of the world.
Born in Tokyo in 1929, Ekuan lost his sister and father when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima during the Second World War.
Ekuan later admitted that the total devastation caused by the bomb motivated him to become a "creator of things".
He left his studies at a Buddhist temple -- his father was a monk -- after the Japanese surrender and attended Tokyo's National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Later, he managed to enroll in an exchange programme at the prestigious Art Center College of Design at Pasadena in California from where he graduated in 1955.
Two years later, he was among the founders of GK Industrial Design Associates which would go on to play a significant role in creating what is today considered the contemporary Japanese lifestyle.
During his celebrated career, Ekuan was also behind the designs of several Yamaha motorbikes, the Narita Express train which connects Tokyo with Narita international airport, and the bullet train that runs between Tokyo and Akita prefecture.
In 1976, he was elected president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, and in 2000 he received The Order of the Rising Sun, one of the highest recognitions given by the Japanese government.