December 11, 2014

Windows of Food, Clothing, and Shelter

Takahiro Shibata is an editor and executive director of Magazine Houseʼs quality-of-life magazine & Premium. Shibata, who has proposed numerous lifestyle ideas through writing books, such as TOOLS and Lisa Larson: Swedish Ceramic Artist, and through directing the online magazines LIFECYCLING and ONE DAY—A LIFE WITH DOG, writes about the windows of food, clothing, and shelter that he has experienced.

I have always been fascinated by that strange ride called an observation wheel. This photo was taken from Japanʼs largest observation wheel, the Diamond and Flower Ferris Wheel in Kasai Rinkai Park. Rising to a height of 117 meters, it will take you on an around-the-world trip in approximately 17 minutes. It is truly a marvelous ride.

The Tacocho oden shop in Gion-Shijo, Kyoto. I was finally able to duck through its noren curtains last autumn. Unable to see what was going on inside, I felt hesitant about opening the door—but this made it all the more gratifying when I did.

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the Viktor & Rolf studio in a refurbished mansion beside the canal. After seeing this light first-hand, I felt like I understood the reason why Vermeerʼs paintings were born in this country.

In November of this year, textile artist Samiro Yunoki and I visited the Kogensha site in Morioka, which is associated with Kenji Miyazawa and folk crafts. Yunoki allowed me to take many photographs of him while we enjoyed some delicious coffee in the pleasant morning light of the Egeresukan building.

I like to look outside from trains. The speed of local trains is just right for this. In Brooklyn, New York: the grey sky and a red sign that suddenly appeared in front of me. I swiftly shot it with my iPhone.

My favorite flower shop in the world, Le Vésuve in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. Ikuyo Takahashi, [the shopʼs owner] who suddenly passed away this past September, taught me many important things about life. The flowers at Le Vésuve have always been beautiful, just as they are today and will be tomorrow.

To put it in a good way, I am very eager to learn things. To put it in a bad way, I am easily bored—and perhaps because of this, I admire the ways of craftsmen. This is a photo that I took about three years ago at Savile Row in London. I must have been drawn to the back-turned figure of the middle-aged tailor.

In the Kunigami-son district on the northernmost end of Okinawaʼs main island. This inn called Miyagi is located even further north in a town called Oku. It is great fun to sit around the sunken hearth under the thatched roof with the innkeeper and fellow guests. Only this window faces toward the south.

"When lost, go to Cafe Renoir." There is no such saying, but this is where I escape when I am at a loss for ideas. My favorite seat is beside the window in the branch in front of the Tokyu Hands Shibuya Store. The passersby and cold brew coffee will save me when I find myself in a fix.

The kitchen of my photographer friend who lives in Paris. I uncharacteristically felt sentimental as I thought about all the different lives unfolding beneath this sky. It was probably because of the much too beautiful sunset.

Takahiro Shibata. Editor. Executive director of the quality-of-life magazine & Premium by Magazine House. Major books include TOOLSLisa Larson: Swedish Ceramic Artist, and Beams EYE on OKINAWA. Directs the online magazines LIFECYCLING and ONE DAY—A LIFE WITH DOG and also works on advertising, event production, and branding. Edited the book Samiro Yunoki Style & Archives, which was published from Graphic-sha Publishing in October 2014.
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