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kansei initiative -from Material Fulfillment to Emotional Fulfillment Kansei Japan Design Exhibition

Kansei Museum in TOKYO


a photo of theThe "Kansei Value Creation Museum - Monozukuri Story, Starts !" was held at Spiral Building in Aoyama, Tokyo from January 23rd to 28th, 2009 . The exhibition showcased the concept of kansei value creation in relation to five categories, "tradition", "joint creation", "material", "technology" and "environment". It also offered seminars, a café and a shop to provide a firsthand experience of kansei value in a comprehensive manner.

More than 80% of the 8,000 visitors said in a questionnaire "I was able to understand the concept of kansei value", and more than 90% said "The exhibition will be useful for my future activities". There were positive comments, such as "The exhibition reminded me of the excellence of Japanese manufacturing and ideas" and "The concept of kansei should be conveyed to the world".

Date: January 23rd - 28th, 2009
Venue: Spiral Building, 5-6-23 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Organized by: Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
With the cooperation of : The Machine Industry Memorial Foundation.

a photo of the Kansei Museum in TOKYO

Exhibited Products

Category 1: Tradition

Here is a story of the “value we find in traditional skills that are being utilized in modern life.” This section tells the story of drawing on the brilliance of traditional techniques and technologies using new technologies and materials to improve products, and maintaining a balance between good tradition and improved comfort. This section also introduces the story of making full use of technologies to create a new traditional value.

Dialogue in the Dark Towel

a photo of the Dialogue in the Dark TowelThis towel was developed with the cooperation of visually impaired guides of Dialogue in the Dark, who participated in towel testing to further improve the water-absorbing property and moisture-absorption characteristics when the towel is in contact with human skin, as well as kansei such as "texture" and "aesthetic property".

Category 2: Joint Creation

Here is the story of the "value that is created when a variety of people engage in joint creation". This section tells the story of how every person involved in the joint creation of a product became an "interested party" and how the interested party came to have an attachment to and affection for the product, from the development and production stage to the completion, use and disposal stage.

Something to Touch

a photo of the Something to Touch"Something to Touch" is a totally new, lacquer-encased speaker system which is based on beautiful lacquering techniques and the concept of "fureru (touch)". Its droplet-shaped speaker case is the product of efforts to take advantage of the characteristics of lacquer, which is seamless, nice and soft, and sculpturesquely beautiful. When it is not in use, it adds color to the room and creates a sense of tension. Music begins when the speaker is positioned upright. This product brings people and goods closer together and offers something new in everyday life.

Category 3: Materials

Here is the story of the "value created by the commitment to genuine materials and components". This section introduces the story of a new value, which is created by bringing out functionality and characteristics that are inherent in materials such as materials derived from nature and cutting-edge high-tech materials, and by going one step further than conventional applications.

Kumano Make-up Brush

a photo of the Kumano Make-up BrushKumano make-up brushes are different from other brushes because the tip of the hair is never cut and faulty hairs are removed one by one by hand to finish the tip of a brush. Kumano make-up brushes have won acclaim from the world’s leading make-up artists and cosmetic brands because of their quality, which has been described as "the touch of an angel’s wing".Faulty hairs are removed in the production process and then returned to the soil for recycling.

Category 4: Technology

Here is the story of the value created by projecting an affluent lifestyle and society and taking advantage of various technologies. This section introduces the story of creating empathy, attachment, spiritual fulfillment and a new social system by imagining an affluent society and using technologies to attract the kansei, five senses, and mentality of the user.


a photo of the Category4: TechnologyZMP, which is a pioneer in the field of two-legged robots for household use, has developed miuro, an intelligent music robot that is able to dance. It moves freely in the room while playing tunes, offering a completely new way of enjoying music. It offers endless possibilities, depending on the user’s lifestyle.

Category 5: Environment

Here is the story of the "value that we feel about symbiosis with nature and the environment". This section introduces the story of living in harmony with nature and the environment by learning from the sustainability and high functionality of the ecosystems of nature and living creatures, and giving consideration and making all kinds of efforts to reduce the environmental load and protect human health and safety.

Artificial Carbonated Spring - Soda Bath

a photo of the Artificial Carbonated Spring - Soda BathA high concentration of artificial carbonated spring of more than 1,000ppm has at last been developed, thanks to many years of research on carbonated springs and the latest technology. Soda Bath offers benefits to health-conscious consumers and enables efficient utilization of CO2, a greenhouse gas.

Comments of visitors

(1) Number of Visitors 8,056 (including attendees at the opening ceremony)
Participants in the Kansei Talk Shows 663

(2) uestionnaire Results
Visitors: 1,308 questionnaires (collection rate: 16.2%) 

(3) Feedback from Visitors

  • I highly appreciate the fact that a compelling exhibition like this was held under the leadership of the government.
  • I have seen new technologies, passion for and commitment to monozukuri, and efforts to convey these to the next generation.
  • I have renewed my perception about the excellence of Japanese manufacturing and ideas.
  • I was enriched.
  • I felt that monozukuri is full of kindness.
  • I happened to see the exhibition by chance, but it was nice seeing it. I was touched. Thank you.
  • We can say that Japan is a truly affluent country only when these products are within reach of ordinary people.
  • I hope that this exhibition will open in various regions.
  • I have realized that kansei is a concept that should be conveyed to the world following kawaii.
  • It seems that how to help consumers understand kansei is important.
  • Exhibits should carry more detailed explanations.


I. Kansei Value Product Exhibition
Exhibition Space: About 1,000m2

Components of Exhibition:"Monogatari (Story)" about the products is told in relation to five perspectives: tradition, joint creation, material, technology, and environment.

II. Kansei Talk Show (January 23 to 25)

(1) What is the role of design in management? - Learning from Kansei Value Creation - type companies -
Mr. Katsuya Kato (All Nippon Airways Co.,ltd.)
Mr. Satoru Masunaga (Masunaga Optical Mfg Co., Ltd.)
Ms. Kanae Tsukamoto (Kanae Design Labo)
Mr. Tetsuyuki Hirano (Hirano & Associates Inc.)

(2) Time to feel Japanese Kansei Value
Mr. Gwenael Nicolas (CURIOSITY Inc.)

(3) Story behind Kansei-like Project in Monozukuri
Mr. Hiroki Nakajima (Toyota Motor Corporation),
Mr. Akihiro Taketsuna (KOKUYO Co., Ltd.)
Mr. Manabu Akaike (Universal Design Intelligence, Inc.)

(4) Creation of Comfort and Excitement to Delight both the Brain and the Body
Mr. Toshinobu Kanaya (Keio University)
Ms. Chie Nakatsuka (Urban Life Research Institute, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.)

(5) Century of Kansei Value in Response to Nature
Mr. Shirou Wakui (landscape architect)

(6) Monozukuri that Adds Color to and Enriches Everyday Life
Ms. Kodue Hibino (costume artist)
Mr. Izumi Okabe (Taikyokusha Inc.) 

III. Kansei Shop
Some of the exhibits shown at the Kansei Creation Product Exhibition were on sale.

Parallel Event

Second Kansei Value Creation Symposium - Kansei Value in Robots

Date: January 27, 2009
Venue: TEPIA Exhibition Hall
Organized by: The Machine Industry Memorial Foundation, Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry
Panel Members: Dr. Michitaka Hirose (Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo), Mr. Manabu Akaike (Universal Design Intelligence., Inc.), Mr. Shunji Yamanaka (Designer, Professor, Keio University), Ms. Mariko Mikami (Journalist) 

Other Events


Creative Industries Promotion Office
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) JAPAN
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