We really like the last year’s November opened Otsuka-Dofukuten store designed by Yusuke Seki. The store is located at the feet of the Yasaka Shrine which is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto, Japan.
The beautifully designed store has as a goal to reintroduce the traditional Japanese kimono culture. The kimono is a cloth which traditionally had a varying range of prices and quality. Therefore the cloth was affordable within different layers of Japanese society and people wore kimonos in everyday life. Over the last decades however it became more and more common to only wear a kimono on special occasions which resulted in the industry focusing on expensive, high quality kimonos and the cheaper (quality) cloths became less and less available.
Parallel to this development the reputation of the kimono developed into a garment reserved for the highest echelon of society to wear to special, formal events.
To succeed in reintroducing the kimono as the traditional all-round cloth worn within different layers of society Otsuka-Dofuketen introduces a three-step price system which has room for people on a limited budget, but maintains a high standard in the quality. Beside the store on the first floor of their building Otsuka-Dofukuten also opened a gallery space on the second floor exhibiting kimono related modern art and a design selection with the intention to expand the awareness for the kimono as everyday life clothing.
The Interior design of the Otsuka-Dofukuten store reflects the mentioned three types of offerings in the varying price ranges and types of composition of the kimonos. Products are on display in original designed shelves with knotted feet and the walls of the store are covered with white tiles. These tiles originate from the former user of the building, a tofu store, but Yusuke has carved them to add a new texture, resulting in a new aesthetic surface at some points reminiscent of the shapes of leaves. Colored stones are incorporated under the floor, and original old fashion glass is fixed into the windows to underline the history of the building.