Cannes Lions

Katsura Generations Line

HAKUHODO INC., Tokyo / YAMADA KATSURA / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Katsura is the traditional Japanese craft of wig-making. Today, unfortunately, few young people are joining the profession and the craft is at risk of dying out. The katsura atelier Yamada Katsura decided to draw more attention to katsura by presenting its traditional katsura techniques. Focusing on the beauty of each strand of hair and the elaborate skills to create the katsura’s flow, shape, and color, we demonstrated the hidden beauty and art in the fine details of the katsura.

The first debut was at the client’s annual event. The execution was then introduced as a branding tool for its business partners in the film and theater industries.

Idea

Katsura is the traditional Japanese art of wig-making. Bin, tabo, maemage, and other styles each have their own inherent elegance and beauty. Katsura are an amazing combination of many artisans’ skills: the specialist who forms the base head shape, the specialist who implants the hair, the specialist who binds the hair, etc. We fashioned a publicity poster linking traditional and modern culture to foster interest in katsura and to depict Yamada Katsura’s artistry and modern interpretations.

Execution

We chose a poster as the best showcase for the beauty of each strand of katsura hair. Our problem was how to present Yamada Katsura’s collection of individual skills with symbolism and impact. Our design solution was to focus on the hidden beauty in the katsura’s flow, shape, and coloring. This led to a poster expressing the dignity of the katsura art form that deserves to flourish for another 100 years. With this awareness, we devised a poster that dutifully represents a steadfast brand.

Outcome

The client and customers praised the poster for raising the katsura’s value. Yamada Katsura customers previously objected to production times and costs, as they didn’t know multiple artisans and high skill levels are needed. The single poster created recognition of the exquisite designs, of the artisans’ remarkable talent, and that the katsura is both a tradition and an essential modern art form. The poster’s ongoing use has led to good branding and promising work relationships for the client.