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Japanese Toys
Product Designer

Shibata Fumie

< 27, Apr, 2015 >


“Buchi Puzzle” is manufactured by Sakai Sangyo, but was designed by Shibata Fumie who is an establisher of Design Studio S. She is a Japanese representative product designer that stylized Omron thermometers, rice cookers by Zojirushi and the like.

Namely, the “Buchi” products were born out of their combination. We can say, however, Shibata Fumie holds the key to unlock the door, because Sakai Sangyo asked her though they are a woodworking company. Now, let us knock on by this interview with Shibata Fumie.



■ I am so glad to interview with you, ma’am.

Shibata Fumie: Me, too.


■ First, wouldn’t you mind if I ask what made you collaborate with them and design the “Buchi” products?

S: No. I was invited by another designer; Aoki Akio who belongs to Miru Design. He was originally familiar with Sakai Sangyo thru activities of More Trees. They were just looking for a designer to produce wooden toys with Japanese thinnings and found me.


■ Did they already have concrete ideas like puzzles?

S: They only decided to produce something to play with. I suggested specific examples. The domino was proposed by Mr. Aoki and came real.


■ “Buchi” products came out to the world in 2012. How long did you take on designing and developing?

S: About one year, including inspection and verification. Some of them have never been out.


■ Testing is very important, I know. Ma’am, could you tell me how your peculiarity appears on the series?

S: I tried to make toys from various kinds of trees with skillful artisans thru their network because Sakai Sangyo was connected with many woodworkers all over Japan. So many men, so many minds, you know. I guessed it was in need of something comprehensive. Then, I made a suggestion that we should create with edges of trees as the design base. I felt like making something common among the whole of the products, not a single or two.


■ Not only the products, the approaching way looks like you, it means.

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