On February 7th Kenji Ekuan, the designer of the iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, passed away at 85. I've long-admired this bottle, and recently wondered who designed it. I'm sad to be learning about him under these circumstances.
Amazingly, Kenji is also the designer of the Komachi bullet train connecting Tokyo and northern Japan, and the Narita Express train. Kenji founded consultancy GK Industrial Design Associates in 1957, which continues to create work today.
In 2012, Lucy Walker directed a documentary about Kikkoman's interesting 300-year history.
According to Design Week, Ekuan was was known for his motto “design is a source of life-enhancement.” Read more about Ekuan's life in the Times.
Thank you for enhancing our lives, Kenji. Your soy sauce bottle truly brings me joy.