The Making of Yuji Kimura – Margins and Memories

Yuji Kimura has put his hand to multitudes of magazines and literary publications over the years and is, without doubt, a shining gem in the field of editorial design. There is simply no other person that has the presence or influence that Kimura commands. His methodology is steeped in an intimacy that is all-pervasive.

The Japanese Hot Designers Series is a series of exhibitions showcasing the work of outstanding contemporary Japanese designers. Held at the Japan Creative Centre in Singapore, a new type of culture and information centre which showcases Japan’s “now” including the latest in pop culture and cutting‐edge technology, the series aim to introduce key players of the Japanese design scene in a variety of fields such as fashion, product design and lifestyle goods.

About Yuji Kimura

Born  1947  in  Hokkaido,  Japan.  Art  director  and  designer.  After  graduating  from  Musashino  Art  University,  College  of  Art  and Design, ten  years  working  in  Tamotsu  Ejima’s  design  studio.  In  1982,  he goes  solo  and  founds  the  Kimura  Design  Office.  In  1987,  Esquire Japan,  with  Kimura  on  board  from  day  one  as  art  director,  bursts on the scene marking an epoch in the history of Japanese editorial and design work.

Esquire Japan proves to be an unparalleled influence on designers during that period and goes on to become the handbook for top quality magazine production. Kimura  also  works  in  the  book  design  field,  and,  in  2002,  receives  the  Kodansha  Publications  Cultural  Award.  Based  on  his  editorial  and  design  work  for  the  fortnightly  newspaper  insert  in  The  Asahi  Shimbun,  The  Asahi  Shimbun  GLOBE, beginning in 2008, Kimura is chosen by the Tokyo Art Directors Club as receipient of the 2009 ADC Award.

“What kind of a game is “an exhibition”, I wonder?

An exhibition where you just lay out a whole bunch of work to recreate the past is not something I am into. After toying round with a variety of ideas, I decided to view the JCC facility as a “bookcase”, and play the game of “how do I line things up”. It’s not just books and magazines in my bookcase at home, there are all sorts of things lined up there. There’s a bromide of an actress, a plaster cast of my teeth, etchings, a shoe (I bought several pars in Paris, but I put on a little weight and now they don’t fit, so they have become “objet d’art”), a “cast” of my head made out of wet-wipes, assorted tools and bits and pieces… the list goes on. I arrived at the idea of bringing the private life of my bookcase, which I don’t show to anyone else, into the exhibition space. In so doing, I was finally able to come up with a “rulebook” that would allow me to concentrate on playing the game of putting together an exhibition.”

Yuji Kimura


About ranman

Design educator with a Masters of Design degree. 32 years of design experience. View all posts by ranman

3 responses to “The Making of Yuji Kimura – Margins and Memories

  • Chiharu

    Hi. Thank you so much for your visiting Yuji Kimura exhibition at JCC.
    As a behalf of the organizers, I appreciate your effort putting up the info on your blog 🙂
    Some of your photography looks really good and I’m just wondering whether I can borrow some of them to archive as our record.
    Please let me know, many thanks.

    • ranman

      Hi! We enjoyed the warm hospitality of the JCC and the beautiful thought provoking designs of Kimura-san; and look forward to your next design program. Please feel free to use my photographs for your archival record.

  • Chiharu

    Hi ranman, it’s me again, who left a message here before.
    The office of Kimura-san in Tokyo is asking whether they can borrow your pix or not for their archive and potentially use for other publication, if you have high-resolution formats of those pix here. They are considering some usage fee to you as well, so could you write me back to discuss via email to
    Thanks you and look forward hearing from you.

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