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Tadao ANDO

Born in Osaka in 1941. Self-educated in architecture. Established Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in 1969. Won many important prizes including the Annual Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan in 1979 with the “Row House in Sumiyoshi”, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the Gold Medal of the Union Internationale des Architectes in 2005. Received the Order of Culture in 2010. Appointed Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013 by the French Government. Invited by the Yale University, the Colombia University and the Harvard University as Visiting Professor. Currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo (2003-).

Hiroto Rakusho

Born in Kyoto in 1962. Graduated from Kyoto College of Art (currently Kyoto University of Art and Design), majored in oil painting. Started traditional metal leaf design under his father, Jisaku Nishiyama. Has been devoting himself to applying metal leaf in art ever since. While collaborating with Ralph Rucci and Parfum Givenchy, he reproduced under the Digital Archive Project, a project to preserve cultural properties, Sotatsu’s Wind and Thunder Gods, collected in Kennin-ji Temple, as well as various Japanese paintings collected in overseas museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His highly acclaimed reproductions are officially registered under the name of ‘Kyo Hanga.’ Held exhibition at NY Bergdorf Goodman, a private exhibition in Kuwait, solo exhibition at the Hosomi Museum and Artglorieux, GINZA SIX. Certified Master of Traditional Handicrafts by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

nendo: Oki SATO

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1977. Designer. Received M.A. in Architecture from Waseda University. Chosen by Newsweek Magazine as one of “The 100 Most Respected Japanese” in 2006. Won many “Designer of the year” of major awards include from Wallpaper magazine and ELLE DÉCOR magazine. Designs can be found in various museums around the world such as in the Museum of Modern Art in NY, as well as Centre Pompidou in Paris. Chief designer and founder of nendo.


Born in Shimane, 1931. Obtained BFA and MFA in Sculpture Course of Tokyo University of Arts. Former President of Tokyo University of Arts. Studied under Denchu HIRAKUSHI. Engaged in supervising the design of Tokyo Sky Tree. Created numerous environmental sculptures such as the Tower of Wind Tower of Tokyo Bay Aqua Line or Yaesu GranRoof of Tokyo Station. Presently Professor Emeritus and Advisor of Tokyo University of Arts. Member of the Japan Art Academy. Person of Cultural Merit.


Akie Abe
Spouse of the 90th, 96th, and 97th Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Besides contributing as the First Lady,
she has actively engaged herself in the field of education through supporting the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh and ‘Terakoya’ education in Myanmar as well as in the activities promoting organic agriculture and environmental protection.

Kiyoshi Kasahara
Born in 1948. Completed the Master’s Course of Division of Sociology, Keio University Graduate School and became
a doctor of sociology. After studying at the University of Belgrade and teaching as Professor at Rikkyo University, currently Professor of Atomi University and Chief Professor of Beijing Center for Japanese Studies. Specialist in sociology and organization theory.


“Digital Food Award” for Anne’s Kitchen Website
Food & Wine Magazine, US (2013). “Best non-fiction book” for Anne’s Kitchen Luxembourg Book Prize (2014). Founder and Vice-President of “Luxembourg Food Academy” asbl. Member of the Guild of Food Writers.

Paul Smither

Garden Designer, Horticulturist. Born in Berkshire, the United Kingdom. He learnt horticulture and garden designing at Wisley Garden of the Royal Horticultural Society (UK) and the Longwood Gardens (USA).Since the establishment of the Garden Rooms in Mitaka City, Tokyo, Japan in 1997, He has designed and constructed gardens at private houses, commercial facilities, and public spaces. Also, he serves as garden designer, consultant and lecturer. In 2000, he won the RHS Premier Award
(Presentation Garden, the 1st Gardening Show, Tokyo). He published many books include: Paul Smither no Shizen-ryu Niwazukuri (in Japanese, Paul Smither’s Natural Gardening, Kodansha Ltd.), etc. He also published a series of DVDs entitled “Shiki no Garden Seikatsu, Paul Ryu Engei Technique (in Japanese, Four Seasons’Gerden Life - Paul Style Gardening Technique), 4-volume, BS Fuji. http://www.gardenrooms.jp/