Kawaii Zakka and Interior Decoration

29 Nov

Kawaii Interior Decoration
25/JUL/2009 on air

How is it like to live in a “character room” with as many as 1000 of Hello Kitty in a small 8Jo (about 13 square meters) room? Here’s the owner of the room, Asako-san, a housewife saying “Hello Kitty is just increased like this while I started collecting, but I don’t think this is enough.” Another woman, an illustrator enjoys as many as 500 dolls in a small 4.5Jo room (6.5 square meters) and she sleeps there. “I’m happy if I can live with my favorite things around.” But how is it like to be looked down by 500 dolls around while she is sleeping? Ichigohime-san (it’s just a nickname, meaning strawberry princess) collects everything with strawberry motif in her 8.5Jo room. Can you believe that she has spent total 20 million yen (USD200,000) into the strawberry room? TV, bowl, dress, and even the scent of the room are all strawberry! The dress was from her mom and cost 280,000 yen (USD2800)! “She has collected enough strawberries, and now I just want her to get dressed with this dress to find someone to live together,” says her mom.

There was a letter from a couple who live in a small 6Jo room together. The concept of their room is second hand clothing of American taste. The items in the room are what the man has collected since he was a teenager. There is not enough space to store things, and so they hang their clothes or even sneakers on the wall. It looks there’s no space for sleeping but the green area is actually where they sleep.

There are as many as 70 interior shops in Meguro, Tokyo which is called “Interior Street” of stores with several different interior tastes such as ethnic, mid-century, Showa retro, etc. A man of good knowledge on Meguro Interior Street is called “Meguro Interior Hakase” (meaning Dr. Meguro Interior). He checked out all the stores on the street and grasps characteristics of each shop.

Acme Furniture opened 15 years ago and it was the first one of the shops on the street. Their furniture is purchased in the west coast of the U.S. and vintage furniture is made in 1950-1970. It’s interesting they offer custom-made furniture such as using some auto-part from airplane.

Fortuna deals with furniture directly imported from the U.S., but limited to small ones targeted for single use.

Claska is a famous nice interior hotel where many foreigners visit. Each room has different concept of interior. Take a room #702, for example, you see a bed decorated with soft toys of second hand use. At a room #707, the concept is “recycle” and “pressed flowers” at #701.

ICS is a first interior school in Japan that was established in 1963. Today, 1/3 of students are from foreign countries.

It was only 3 years ago when IKEA opened in Japan. They needed to study Japanese market very carefully because foreign furniture is sometimes too big for Japanese houses. They started from “home visit” people to ask what kind of problems they have for living. Then they tried to understand the demands of Japanese people and analyzed them.

Then how is Japanese interior brand? Francfranc is increasing its sales drastically. It’s a brand of cute zakka (daily goods such as kitchen tools or cushion or clock) and small furniture. They have strong target image of 25-year-old women living in a city. They have expanded 112 branches in Japan, as well as some in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. They target China and India in the near future.
It’s important for them to catch the new trends always.

Tokyo Girls Fudosan (meaning real estate) is a small company run by a few young women, but they are getting popular for what they have done. They buy old houses or apartments in Tokyo, renovate them, and promote them for rent. The turned 30-year-old house to a share house with 10 people and this was so popular with as many as 30 people waiting lists. Because the location is at the centre of Aoyama, Tokyo, even the small room with strange shape costs 89,000 yen monthly for rent.

A man opens his studio type of room as a café to his friends, which accompanies with sacrificing himself sleeping in a closet!

These days there is a boutique or apparel shop that deals with zakka to attract more customers who like interior may also be interested in their clothing.

Kirin’s opinion:
I don’t like to live in a mess. To me, full of character or strawberry or used clothes hung around means just a mess. I think that when it comes to living, less is more, and color coordination is also very important to maintain unity of the atmosphere of the room. It makes me sick if I am surrounded by so many different colors and materials at once… This is my honest opinion, but how about you?

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16 Responses to “Kawaii Zakka and Interior Decoration”

  1. Jennifer Lancey November 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Sparkleowlfie November 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    I actually agree with you! Even though it is cute, too much things everywhere just looks messy… if you knock one thing over, everything falls over!! I would prefer a simple but cute and elegant room 🙂

    • kirin November 30, 2009 at 12:19 am #

      An earthquake also can let everything fall over! XD
      Like you say, me too. "simple but cute and elegant room" I like that. 🙂

  3. megan November 30, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    Hm, I think it's all right if you have a collection of things you like, but there is a point when it becomes just waaaayy too much. Plus, I think it's good to have variety and nice, clean, open spaces.

    • kirin November 30, 2009 at 12:21 am #

      I think they have waaayy too much in a small space. But I can understand that we are happy to be surrounded by what we like. 🙂

  4. Cath November 30, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    I prefer to have things kept behind close doors! Mm… I'd definitely check out Meguro Interior St the next time I come to Japan!

    • kirin December 1, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

      The street is located somewhere in-between Meguro and Gakugeidaigaku stations. In other words, you need a bit of walk before you enter the street, either from Meguro station or from Gakugeidai station. I have a lighting that I bought from there. 🙂

      • Cath December 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

        I checked the map, and wonder if husband would be willing to walk there with the 2 kids! 😛 But visiting IKEA would be fun. I want to see how IKEA fits its furniture in small Japanese homes!

      • kirin December 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

        Hummm…With 2 kids maybe difficult…especially kids will be bored at walking into one store to another to another… As for IKEA, I still doubt if their way (DIY) is liked by Japanese people. (?_?)

  5. cinnamon_girl December 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    I always wonder how often do those people who collect so many things (like that Hello Kitty or ichigo girl) clean their room? (X_X) And how long does it take? I don't know if there's more dust in the air here than in other places or something, but I must clean the dust in my room at least in every 2 weeks. I would go crazy if I had to clean those character goods one by one!
    My room is very small, so we couldn't buy furniture in a store, we had to ask a carpenter to make the furniture which would fit my room. I prefer not putting too many things as decoration, because I feel, that it would make my room even smaller.
    I like simple, cute and elegant room as well. 🙂

  6. kirin December 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    I do have that thoughts in my mind, too. Things can be dusty so soon. That's why I try to avoid buying small goods to display at home. I'd be happy with only a few items that I love in my place. That's enough! XD

  7. Becca December 2, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    I am like you, I don't like to be crowded. However.. when I am busy with school and work, I tend to throw things around and my room is a mess 😛 I used to have a really big room but kept it quite empty because I like open spaces 🙂

    • kirin December 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

      Open space! Yes, that's what I like. 🙂

  8. softea December 6, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    what is the title of the song between 12:47 – 13:12 can you tell me please?

  9. bryce July 19, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I can see why IKEA is so popular in Japan. Modern and compact.

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