Project Members

WASARA PresidentKeiichiro ITO

Born in Tokyo. Joined the general merchandise company Ito Yokado after graduating from Chuo University and later became a manager in the women’s clothing department. In 1979, he started working for ITOKEI CO., LTD., launching the Comprehensive Support Department to back up the whole process from product development through to marketing. In 1997 he became Chairman & CEO of the company, and set about reorganizing his previous department into the Dessert Lifestyle Design and Research Institute. The institute publishes a newsletter containing detailed observations on sales at department store sweets shops and is an indispensable tool for understanding trends in the sweets industry. In 2005, Ito commenced product development on WASARA. After a three-year-development period, he launched a new company WASARA Co. Ltd. The products are used at many events and parties and are highly acclaimed both in Japan and overseas.

WASARA Brand AdviserMichiyo TANABE

Born in Shizuoka, Japan. After studying fashion in Tokyo and Paris, Tanabe became a chief of public relations in 1984 for the fashion brand TAKEO KIKUCHI (WORLD CO., LTD.). In 1991, she launched her own business M16 representing fashion stylists and photographers. In 1999, she opened her own restaurant Café M at the foot of Mt. Fuji, drawing many people to the Lake Saiko area. In 2002, Tanabe became a director of public relations for JUN CO., LTD., and also became a director of Montoak, luxury café lounge in Omotesando, holding those concurrent roles for eight years. Meanwhile, since 2005, she has been involved in WASARA as brand adviser. In 2011, Tanabe kicked off her new collaborative brand with Shinichiro Nakahara of Landscape Products Co., Ltd, to produce scents inspired by Japanese trees. The brand called M tree went on sale in autumn 2012. From April 2012 until March 2015, Tanabe was a curator of the TAKEO KIKUCHI (WORLD CO., LTD.) flagship store. Her newest endeavor is as the producer on a project based on recycled paper starting in April 2015.

WASARA Creative Director
Shinichiro OGATA

Born in Nagasaki Prefecture. Established Simplicity Co., Ltd. in 1998.
Pursuing the concept of redefining the next generation of Japanese culture and design, Ogata has developed his own establishments including the Japanese dining club and tea house yakumo saryo, the Japanese confectionery brand HIGASHIYA, and the product line S[es]. In addition to his own company’s brands, Ogata is responsible for the design and direction of a wide range of projects in architectural, interior, product, graphic, and packaging design. In 2004, he took charge of the architectural and spatial design for Sansou Murata in Yufuin. Since 2006, he has been managing the direction and overall design of WASARA. In 2011, he completed the interior and spatial design for the University Museum of the University of Tokyo’s INTERMEDIATHEQUE and was appointed Affiliate Associate Professor. In 2013 and 2014, he was in charge of interior and spatial design for skincare brand Aēsop’s stores “Aēsop Kyoto” and “Aēsop Shinsaibashi,” and for Hyatt Hotel’s Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. The JP Tower Museum INTERMEDIATHEQUE, for which he was in charge of interior and spatial design, won the Gold Prize in the JCD Design Award 2013 and the Grand Prize in the DSA Design Space Award 2013.


2009 Design For Asia Award Gold Award & Grand Award (Hong Kong)
2010 The GOOD DESIGN Award from Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design (USA)
2011 INDEX : Award Finalist (Denmark)


2008.09 “WASARA - こころを潤す紙のうつわ” SFT GARELLY The National Art Center Tokyo [Tokyo]
2009.09 ~ 10 “re.product exhibition” SPOT. [Poznan]
2010.05 ~ 2011.02 “National Design Triennial” Smithsonian‘s Cooper-Hewitt National Museum [New York]
2010.09 ~ 2011.03 “Eat Drink Art Design” Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) [New York]
2010.10 “Month of Design/Big Box 2010” Ljubljana Event Site [Slovenia]
 PRODUCTS Exhibition”
Tokyo Designers Week 2010 [Tokyo]
2010.10 “Kansei - Japan Design Exhibition-” Tokyo Designers Week 2010 [Tokyo]
2010.11 ~ 12 “Biennale International Design 2010” Saint-Etienne [France]
2010.12 “Panealpane: Mediterranean Food
 & Design”
Palazzo Ducale [Italia]
2011.06 "JAPAN : Traditional, Innovation" Canadian Museum of Civilization [Quebec]
2012.01 "365 Charming Everyday Things" Bastille Design Center [Paris]
2014.06 ~ "Japanese Design Today 100
 <renewal version>"
Traveling Exhibitions [Countries]
2014.08 ~ 10 "Le Japon Rive Gauche" Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche [Paris]
2015.02 ~ 05 "HUMAN RESOURCES: Some examples of sustainable design." CENTROCENTRO CIBELES DE CULTURA Y CIUDADANÍA [Madrid]