嘉戸 浩Ko Kado

© Ko Kado

© Ko Kado

京都・西陣に現代のライフスタイルのニーズにマッチする新しい唐紙を提案すべく2009年9月に「かみ添」(かみそえ)をオープンした嘉戸浩(かど・こう)氏。京唐紙の老舗から独立した嘉戸氏は、以前サンフランシスコの大学でKo Kado is an owner of a Karakami (paper for sliding doors) shop Kamisoe, opened in Nishijin Kyoto in 2009, aiming to offer a new style of Karakami that matches to the needs for the contemporary lifestyle. Before leaving away from the established Karakami shop to own his shop, he has studied graphic design in San Francisco. The shop features a variety of modern and unique Karakami design including patterns of modern and minimal dots, mesh, blurs and ethnic ones.

Please introduce yourself.

After graduating from Kyoto Saga University of Arts in product design, I went to study graphic design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After graduation, I moved to New York to intern at BIG Magazine where I experienced art production. I also worked as a freelance designer at some design offices. Returning Japan, I started to work at the established Karakami studio and then opened a Karakami shop and studio Kamisoe in September 2009.

Please tell us your recent activities for both your own work and Kamisoe.

For Kamisoe, I make and sell Karakami that uses dyed and woodblock-printed Washi, a type of Japanese paper. Instead of using Japanese classical patterns, we use original patterns (woodcuts) and woodcuts made in overseas such as Turkey, Morocco, India, Ireland, etc. for making cards, writing papers, envelops, papers for sliding doors, wall papers and panels.

Regardless of different purposes of the use, there are many different kinds of woodcuts around the world. Unused woodcuts will be either trashed or sold as antique objects. I think that’s wasteful. So I want to collect those unused woodcuts and bring them into life as woodcuts again to be reproduced under the classical printing technology.

As the shop name Kamisoe contains a meaning of a combination of words, paper (kami) and adding (soe), which intends to “add something on the paper” and “add one’s heart”. We displays and sells some items (ceramics, incandescent lamps, Japanese candles) selected under the concept.
Goods that add something to share warmth and kindness of the Japanese paper. Papers that add something for your own lifestyle and for “gifts” given to your loved ones. We offer something that add to your life and something that create lifestyle itself.

For my personal work, I have kept working on graphic design as well. I like paper and printing, and like to see special-printed posters and books. As I consider myself as a super-analog printing machine (in terms of using woodcut printing), I want to find my own way of expression by making woodcuts and being creative for the use of colors, glues and papers.

How do you take advantage of your experience in graphic design to your current work?

As I think about a design concept, I thoroughly observe and research on and around it. I’m used to be like that when I work on things. So I thoroughly research as far as time allows.
For my current work, especially for making Karakami, I need to know the minimum knowledge including the way to select papers, mix colors, design patterns (graphic elements), set margins, relation between humidity and printing, which all were gained from the past experience as a graphic designer.

Please tell us about the city of Kyoto.

I was born in Kyoto, but my father is originally from Shimane and mother is from Saitama. As ‘m not “originally” from Kyoto, I don’t know Kyoto deeply, but Kyoto is a city where my home town Nishikamo is located.
In Nishikamo, there are Kamo River, one of famous Gozan (five mountains in Kyoto) Funa-Yama, Kamigamo Shrine, and shrines including Ota Shrine, Jinko-in, Shoden-ji and Saiho-ji. As a kid, I used to play around in temples and shrines.
There you can find a number of architecture and decorations that are designated as cultural properties. For me, Kyoto is a place where you can learn culture naturally.

Could you share your favorite places in Kyoto with us?

My most favorite place is Nishijin area in Kyoto.

As Nishijin area is huge a bit, so I would like to focus on Kuramaguchi Street where Kamisoe is located. There is a famous Warabimochi shop Saraku located to the east side of Kamisoe. To the east side is Sarasa Nishijin, a cafe located in the renovated old Sento (designated as a cultural property) built in the Taisho era, and next to it is a SOHO Machiya Fujimoriryo where is located in the renovated Machiya building once used as a dormitory and a hand-made Soba restaurant Kanei. As you go further to the west, you will see another designated cultural property Sento, Funaoka Sento (a beautiful transom!) and a guest house for backpackers around world Gekkousou.

Going to the north a bit, you can visit Daitoku-ji (famous for a rock garden made by Mirei Shigemori), Imamiya Shrine, Aburimochi as known as the oldest Japanese confection in Japan and a Japanese style restaurant Murasakinowakuden. There are more historical places including Takeisao Shrine, a designated national historic site Funeoka Mountain, Myoken-ji where there are graves of Kourin Ogata and Kenzan Ogata to name a few. You can visit these places within a 15 minutes walk.

In Nishijin there are less people compare to other areas like Gion, Higashiyama and Sagano. Nishijin is a very attractive area where you can enjoy just walking around. I hope many more young people get involved in the historical area to revitalize the entire disctict as a new place to deliver information in Kyoto.

Address: 11-1 Mirasakino Higashifujimori-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00 (Closed on Tuesday)
Tel: 075-432-8555


京都嵯峨美術短期大学専攻科プロダクトデザイン学科卒業。サンフランシスコのAcademy of Art University グラフィックデザイン科入学。 卒業後ニューヨークへ移り、アート雑誌「BIG Magazine」でインターンシップ、アートプロダクションを経験すると同時に、幾つかのデザイン事務所でフリーランスデザイナーとして活動する。






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Translation: Mariko Takei

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