As me, I’m sure you have been curious about Scandinavia and his lifestyle and design. Unfortunately because of the lack of information in the media, it is difficult to have an accurate idea about this region of the world.
In the same way, I have been asked where we can find and buy Scandinavian products.
Well, I think in Japan, the first place you have to check is Illums.
Yesterday, I went to the opening of the new store in Nihonbashi.
It is an elegant store, which looks like the Alibaba’s cave of Scandinavian lifestyle.
The space is well-organized to make you feel in a Scandinavian house: children’s bedroom, kitchen, dining…
You can learn more about our products also.
For example, you’ll find one of my favorite Scandinavian’s brand: the watches Ole Mathiesen.
Also, check the “kids” space, a really cute corner where you can find our Moomins and Mobile Flendsted.
Anyway, if you have time this weekend, please go to the new Illums Store, located in the Yuito building in Nihonbashi. It will be for you a good opportunity to feel and enjoy the Scandinavian happiness and family sense through their design.
Yesterday I spent my day at the warehouse.
We are preparing the Christmas season, which is my favorite time in the year
I love Christmas decoration!
The Nordika’s figurines above, aren’t they cute?
You can check this link to see all the items. http://www.posjapan.co.jp/pdf/2010christmas02_all.pdf
When commuting, I was listening music as usual. You can read in my profile that I love the Icelandic singer Bjork for her voice and this week-end I was introduced a great band from Denmark, Valrvan. Valrvan is a supernatural raven from Danish folklore.
But the singer has such a beautiful voice, which is pretty similar to the Bjork’s one.
You can listen on their webpage: http://www.myspace.com/valravn
The singer is from the Faeroe Islands. Have you ever heard about this place?
It is located in the North of Europe, closed to Iceland.
These islands belongs to Denmark and the surface represents only 1394 km² for 46662 people.
In December, Valrvan will come to Tokyo, Shibuya for a live.
Really, December 2011 will be a Danish and beautiful month in Tokyo. Can’t wait for it!
Visit our webstore Hosiikamo where unique Scandinavian design products are introduced. http://hosiikamo.com/
This morning I would like to share my opinion about a conversation I had.
In France and I believe also in western countries, Scandinavians have a strong family image. But I was said recently, in Japan this family image is more related to Mediterranean countries like France, Spain, Italy. Let’s say Latin countries.
It’s not wrong, but not 100% right.
I think the difference of opinion can be found in the meaning of the word “family”.
Latin countries have an image of family for the feelings and the love between the members of a same family. Also, we express more our feelings by speaking and acting. Our strong religion background, catholicism, has also an influence I think.
In my mind, Scandinavian countries, is more oriented with a well-balanced family lifestyle and the place in the society, the system.
For example, the well-known Scandinavian education or even the important place of the family in design.
In Japan too, we can find a particular family image, at the beginning of my stay in Japan, I thought people were really respectful toward older generation, to be honest more than French people.
We can find a family image anywhere in the world Latin countries, Scandinavia or Japan, it is just shown in a different way.
Today I would like to continue my story about the versatile designers, as I was talking last week with Arne Jacobsen who can design anything from watches to buildings.
But this time I was amazingly surprised and I would like to ask you: do you know the relation between Sydney and the Scandinavian trading company I am working for?
The answer: The famous Sydney Opera House was designed by a Danish architect, named JørnUtzon. This same person belongs also to a designer team for Architect Made. Pos Japan, the company I work for, imports Architect Made products: very cute figurines made in wood. This is the relation between us and this architectural masterpiece, a designer’s relation.
If you have time please read his biography. It is amazing Sydney Opera House was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007 and he became only the second person to have his work recognized as a World Heritage Site while he was still alive.
In my mind, with San Francisco in California, they are the 2 best cities to live for their balanced lifestyle.
Walking in Kobe becomes a promenade around the world.
We started in the neighborhood of Kitano where we could enjoy European and North American architectures with old houses surrounding by shops offering European food, French patisserie or even a delicious Danish beer!
This weekend was also the opportunity to enjoy soul afro-jazz music with a great festival.
Then, it was a nice street with a mosque and a small shop with a variety of groceries from North Africa to Jakarta, smelling the spices of a souq. Keeping going to the South of the city, we moved to a Chinese atmosphere with a red and yellow decoration for a delicious snack, without forgetting the really popular panda.
The last step of our promenade was South American, with a Brazilian electric and cheerful service for a churrasco on the terrace with a sunny and beautiful view of the city.
Kobe, the little sister of Osaka, offers a fantastic lifestyle: Japanese traditions and elegancy with a worldwide influence found at each corner.
Arne Jacobsen, the Scandinavian Leonardo da Vinci?
I have always been impressed to see the variety of creation from designers: from architecture or industrial design to interior design… A variety of creations which remains me the career of Leonardo da Vinci.
For example, I was amazed last time when I found out some of the Georg Jensen Damask products we’re importing are designed by Arne Jacobsen.
Yes, the same designer who designed the SAS Royal hotel, the St Catherine’s College in Oxford or the National Bank of Denmark. He is also the man who created the masterpiece of Homelife design : the Ant chair.
Can you imagine how skillful he was?
I design clothes as passion, but I can’t imagine designing furniture or becoming an architect…
As Arne Jacobsen, these designers are very versatile and just genius with so much creativity in one brain.
Even if European countries are small and closed from each other, European people have really different habits, traditions and personality.
In France, Scandinavian people have an image of beautiful blond woman and tourists driving with their caravan from their hometown to the French Riviera.
Working with Scandinavian people, they are in my mind really smart, natural and kind.
They are also really polite and respectful people. I think all these qualities make them more discreet than French people who are more aggressive to impose their opinion, sometimes with arrogance.
It’s a funny thing because by their physical presence (tall and strong), Scandinavians are really more important and impressive than French people. In the same time, when French people are inpatient and impulsive (Latin), Scandinavians will be smarter: they take time to think calmly and then act.
I do not remember to have seen even once in my life a Scandinavian person angry or yelling…
To summarize, my respectful image about Scandinavian, I would say they are Vikings with a big heart.