Japanish History

In this month’s issue of Metropolis, Mason Currey wrote about the fantastic story behind Made in Japain, the exhibition of Spanish design at this year’s Tokyo Designer’s Week.

In a bid to make the Japanese see Spain in a new light, the work of big design names like Manolo Blahnik, Jaime Hayón, Lladró, David Delfín, Nani Marquina, Camper , and Pretty Ballerinas y Tous, will be presented with an intriguing conceit. The curators, CuldeSac, claim that in the hoary past, Spain and Japan were one country – Japain – that was torn asunder by shifting tectonic plates. 


In these videos, grandmother Hana explains to 7-year-old Leo why the two nations have so much in common – the secret language of fans, a tradition of floral textiles, and the love of the color red.

The characters for these films were created by the comic artist Paco Roca and the sculptor Alfredo Llorens. Roca also tells the tale in a comic strip, which will be distributed with the exhibition catalog. Larger-than-life figures of the bulging-eyed Japanish people, sculpted by Llorens, will be part of the exhibit itself, which opens on October 29.


Made in Japain is such a charming offer of friendship because the curators have gone to great lengths to make the fiction believable. I don’t see how the Japanese can possibly resist.

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