Admission reservation

‘PACKAGING: Function and Laughter’ is an attempt to look at the act of packaging from two different viewpoints.

‘Function’ includes the classic considerations of material, but also an inquiry into the near future of paper as it has changed radically with progress in technology, printing and converting techniques. Today, with logistics as the infrastructure of daily life, and the diversification of transportation, our expectations of paper products in terms of convenience and efficiency have naturally expanded.

On one hand, from the perspective of environmental costs and resource circulation, the role and scope of use for paper continues to change. In today’s world, in which new light is being directed to paper as a material, not only as a substitute for plastic, this exhibition asks that we pay attention to what forms will emerge from these organic fibers, and what new value is created.

‘Laughter’ approaches the appeal of packaging from the perspective of emotion. Everyone is familiar with the power of containers and packaging that while simple and unadorned, is still captivating. For this exhibition, we turned to Makoto Umebara as curator, asking him to act as the ‘filtering eye’, utilizing a specific set of values to search for ‘laughter’ in packaging.

What kind of messages can we send to today’s society and world?
‘Function’ and ‘Laughter’. From these two standpoints, we pursue the possibilities of packaging.




We’ve put together an exhibition showcasing the work of 13 diversely talented creative groups. These individuals understand the true value of paper and appreciate its unique sensory properties. Their proposals for packaging, both containers and wrapping, have been thoroughly considered on a practical level.

Paper tube flowers|Agata YAMAGUCHI
Paper tube flowers|Agata YAMAGUCHI

    Masaya ISHIKAWAGraphic Designer

    Hiroaki NAKAJIArtist, Engineer

    Masaya ISHIKAWA
    Born in 1980. After studying at the Masahiko Sato Laboratory at Keio University, Ishikawa belonged to the creative group Euphrates until 2019. He went independent in 2020. Working from a foundation in research on vision perception, he is broadening the scope of his activities, including graphic design, videos, installations, and developing scientific toys and educational workshops that make use of them.
    Hiroaki NAKAJI
    Born in 1987. After working as an engineer in a manufacturing company, Nakaji completed a graduate program at the Department of Media Creation at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences. He creates works focused on artistic expression produced by devices. As an engineer, he also designs machines and provides production support for artists.

    Yuma KANOCreative Director, Designer

    Photo by
    Hiroshi Wada
    Yuma KANO
    Born in 1988 in Tochigi Prefecture. Kano worked as an assistant to artist Yasuhiro Suzuki before establishing his own design office STUDIO YUMAKANO in 2012. He incorporated as NOU Inc. in 2023. Combining processes that prioritize an experimental approach. he handles a wide range of design projects, from the design of a single screw to product design, interior planning, and material research. Major projects include the A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE|TYPE-IV Yuma Kano project, in which he incorporated a rust pattern into textile items, and the Atelier BAUM design for the stores of Shiseido’s skincare brand BAUM. He serves as a part-time lecturer at Musashino Art University.

    Aya CODAMAGraphic Designer

    Photo by
    Seiji Nomura
    Aya CODAMA
    Born in 1983 in Osaka. Codama founded BULLET Inc. in 2013 after working for seven years at the design firm AWATSUJI Design. Intrigued by design that possesses appeal derived from the materials used, she works on projects that make adept use of textures and printing processes, and that go beyond the scope of graphic design. She is author of the book “Stepping Into Package Design”, published by MdN Corporation in 2021. Her major awards include the German Design Award, One Show (Gold), Pentawards (Platinum), Cannes Lions, D&AD, iF Design Award, Good Design Award, and Japan Package Design Awards Golden Award. Faculty member at Tokyo Zokei University.
  • programmed PAPER

    TAKT PROJECTDesign Studio

    Satoshi Yoshiizumi co-founded the TAKT PROJECT in 2013. Operating out of Tokyo and Sendai, it conducts experimental Self-Driven Research projects that disrupt conventional frameworks. It has exhibited at museums and in design exhibitions including Milano Design Week, Design Miami, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Hong Kong M+, and 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. Based on its research, the studio collaborates with clients in projects to create new possibilities through design. Awards include Emerging Designer of the Year at the UK’s Dezeen Awards 2019. Its works are in the collection of the M+ art museum in Hong Kong. Directed the exhibition “Material, or ” held in 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT.

    NEWCreators Club

    Established in 2021, NEW is made up of a diverse range of members possessing a variety of specialties, as well as insatiable inquiring minds. Within an overall focus on graphic design, each individual has his or her own area of expertise̶such as products, printing processes, programming, chemistry, and strategic design̶but the group as a whole leaves no gaps between areas. This intermingling of various fields imparts originality to each member’s work. As creators living in an age where both objects and experiences are abundant, they work with an earnest awareness of ‘novelty’ that takes human behavior and emotions into consideration.

    nomenaEngineers Group

    Shohei Takei established nomena in 2012. Their works on unique, unprecedented creative projects, driven by multidisciplinary knowledge gained through daily research and experiments and collaboration between creators and clients. Recent projects include joint research with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the mechanical design of the Olympic flame cauldron for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Awards include Excellence Award in the Japan Media Arts Festival Art Division in 2022, Pen Creator Award in 2021, DSA Design Award Gold Prize in 2017, Excellence Award in the Japan Sign Design Association’s SDA Awards in 2017, and Grand Prix at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo’s Bloomberg Pavilion Project in 2012.

    Yuri HIMUROTextile Designer

    Yuri HIMURO
    Born in 1989. Himuro has studied textile design and created textiles in Japan and Finland. She launched the textile brand YURI HIMURO based on the theme of producing surprise, joy, and abundance in everyday life through interaction with textiles. Her practice involves development of original works, spatial design, and producing designs for corporate clients. She has presented her work at SaloneSatellite Milano and many other exhibitions outside Japan, including shows in Paris, Taipei, Shanghai, and Jerusalem. She is expanding her range of activities throughout the world, including presenting a new collection of rugs for Italian rug manufacturer cc-tapis in 2020. Her numerous awards include Third Prize in the SaloneSatellite Awards 2018 and Maison & Objet’s Rising Talent CRAFT Award in 2021.

    Motosuke MANDAIArchitect

    Photo by
    Hisai Kobayashi
    Motosuke MANDAI
    Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. He completed the master’s program at the University of Tokyo’s Department of Architecture. After working for junya.ishigami+associates, he established Mandai Architects. He works on projects of all sizes providing services such as architectural and interior design, exhibition venue design, installations, urban community development, and landscaping. His major works include ‘Oshika Fisherman's House’, ‘Ishinomaki Huts’, and ‘Shiiba House’. His awards include the DSA Design Award Grand Prix, Fujii Koji Prize, and Good Design Best 100.

    Haruka MISAWADesigner

    Haruka MISAWA
    Born in 1982 in Gunma. After graduating in interior design from Musashino Art University and working at nendo, she joined Hara Design Institute, Nippon Design Center in 2009, launching Misawa Design Institute in 2014. Her practice uses an experimental approach, observing principles and visualizing unknown possibilities. Projects include Doshi, which explored new possibilities with paper; WHO ARE WE, a traveling exhibition unit for the National Museum of Nature and Science; art direction for Entô, a residential hub in Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark; signage for Tamatsukuri Kindergarten; and UENO PLANET, which visualized charms of Ueno Zoo.

    Rei MITSUIArchitect

    Rei MITSUI
    Born in 1983 in Aichi. Graduating in architecture from the University of Tokyo, he studied tea rooms for a master’s in history of Japanese architecture. Established Rei Mitsui Architects in 2015 after working for Shigeru Ban. Mitsui’s practice follows his own architectural philosophy with his key creative concepts being bones and decoration, “nothingness” and transparency observed in Japanese tea rooms, and architecture as intermediary for conveying an image. Major works include renovation of a tailor shop in Nihonbashi, Yanagi-koji South Corner Restaurants in Futako Tamagawa, House in Zushi, and the tea ceremony house SEIFU-AN. Awards include the Under 35 Architects 2017 Excellence Award and the Residential Architecture Award 2021.
  • Paper tube flowers

    Agata YAMAGUCHIGraphic Designer

    Born in 1988 in Fukuoka Prefecture, where he grew up. After graduating with a degree in design from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts, he worked for 10 inc. and did freelance work before going independent in 2019. He established collé inc. in 2021. Focusing on graphic design, his projects cover a wide range of areas, including corporate identity and visual identity development, artwork production, and package design. His company launched its own brand, omise in 2022, and creates original merchandise.

    CYQL PROJECTCreative Team

    Originated in 2021 from Nippon Design Center, CYQL PROJECT views the relationship between people, objects, and disposal from the perspective of design. It engages in conceptual product design that goes hand in hand with the cycle of research and output, viewing the sentiments of people who dispose of things as the starting point of the cycle. Products launched or exhibited include the ‘Easy-disposal Bento Box’, designed to be folded origami-style to make it more compact for disposal, and ‘REPLAY RECORDS’, analog records produced from recycled plastic, which was presented at the first Recycling Meets Design event organized by Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.

    Kenya HARA + Hara Design Institute, Nippon Design Center

    Kenya HARA
    Kenya Hara works with the Hara Design Institute on design projects that visualize the potential of industrial culture. They provide ar t direction for the likes of MUJI, Tsutaya Shoten, Ginza Six, Yamato Transport, and Mikimoto, and produce exhibitions based on keywords that influence society as a whole and update our values, such as the TAKEO PAPER SHOW’s “RE DESIGN”, “HAPTIC” and “SUBTLE”.



Most important in packaging are not qualities of styling–simplicity or sophistication–but its capacity to motivate users to reach for it instinctively. In short, it's about creating a sense of joy or amusement. This exhibit approaches the appeal of packaging from this completely new angle.

Ajibuta Tonkatsu Sauce|Geschmack|2015-
Fujinomiya Ninjin Juice|NEST Job Assistance Center Aobacho|2016-2017
Paper-cut Small Envelope as Message Card, Kendo (Money Packet)|cobato|2017-
Ajibuta Tonkatsu Sauce|Geschmack|2015-
Fujinomiya Ninjin Juice|NEST Job Assistance Center Aobacho|2016-2017
Paper-cut Small Envelope as Message Card, Kendo (Money Packet)|cobato|2017-

Born in Kochi City. Lives in Kochi Prefecture. Umebara designs products rooted in a specific locality, providing design that draws out the strengths of the local area. His projects include Ponzu Shoyu Yuzu no Mura (ponzu sauce from the home of yuzu citrus) produced in a village where yuzu is the only commercial crop, katsuo-no-tataki marketed as Ipponzuri Warayaki Tataki (line-caught bonito seared over a straw fire), Shimanto Ziguri (chestnuts from run-down chestnut woods in the Shimanto area), Seaside Gallery (which turns a four-kilometer stretch of beach into an art museum), the book mizu (with content paid for in ayu sweetfish from Shimanto), the 84 Project (which takes pride in the fact that 84% of Kochi is forested), AKITAVISION (which uses as its motif the beautiful women Akita Prefecture is famous for), and production of the “Nai Mono wa Nai” identity for the town of Ama in the Oki District of Shimane Prefecture (extolling the satisfaction of living with what little is available). He is currently working on the Shimanto Ryuiki Nogyo Organic (“Shimanto Basin Agriculture Organic”) project, branding the way of life along an entire river with support from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. He is also establishing the Shimanto Bunkou school, which will provide practical training and desk study and offer an “MBA” (Master of Bunkou Administration) diploma. Umebara received the special award in the 2016 Mainichi Design Awards. He currently serves as guest professor at Musashino Art University.

Talk sessions

During the exhibition, there will be talk sessions at the venue by Function section creators and other experts in fields including paper, forestry, packaging, and local communities.

Online Advance reservations required
Admission free (up to 100 people per session)

Paper and Cycles

On the second floor, an exhibition is undergoing development to re-look at papers as sustainable materials. In this section, paper is redefined as a resource that is part of circularity, with introductions to systems such as forest management that preserves forests for future. Exampled by the circulation of energy and CO₂ that revolve around forests, the facts around paper and the Earth are viewed panoramically.


Examples of TAKEO’s diverse range of fine papers are on display on the third floor, with a focus on new and redesigned products that have gone on sale since 2019. More than thirty brands are presented, sorted into different categories based on factors like their use in packaging, environmental performance, and support for digital printing. Printed samples that visitors can take home with them are also available.


This book is a reconfiguration and repackaging of the content presented at the exhibition space. The Function section presents packaging of the near future by thirteen groups of creators with high-definition photos, accompanied by a commentary by the exhibition director Kenya Hara. The Laughter section presents one hundred packages carefully selected by the curator Makoto Umebara, and a text version of a movie by Umebara, Warai no Wake (Reasons for Laughter), that was screened at the exhibition. There are also two trialogue discussions, one taking a fresh look at the relationship between the material paper and people, and the other about design and laughter. The book also features a distinctive design in which the Function section is read from left to right, but the Laughter section is read in the opposite direction, from right to left.

Book: PACKAGING—Function and Laughter (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha)
Price: 4,400 yen (incl. tax)
Specifications: B5 variant format, 320 pages, swiss binding (sebiraki binding)
Production: TAKEO Co., Ltd.
Curation and art direction: Kenya Hara + Hara Design Institute, Nippon Design Center
Printed by: SunM Color Co., Ltd.
Bookbinding: Shinohara- Shiko, Ltd.


Exhibition Outline


“PACKAGING: Function and Laughter”


Oct 13th|Fri|―22nd|Sun|2023 (10 days)

11:00–19:30, last admission at 19:00

Oct 22nd, 11:00-16:00, last admission at 15:30


2nd and 3rd floors, KANDA SQUARE
2-2-1 Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Free (Advance reservation required)


After Tokyo, the exhibition is planned to travel in cities such as Sabae of Fukui Prefecture, Niseko of Hokkaido, and other locations.

TAKEO Co., Ltd., a trading company specializing in paper, has been organizing the TAKEO PAPER SHOW as an event to showcase paper and design since 1965. The event delves deeply into the topic of paper from a variety of angles and perspectives, exploring its meaning and value in collaboration with leading designers of the next generation. The TAKEO PAPER SHOW, now being held for the 49th time, is unique, with a reputation as one of the biggest paper industry events in Japan.
TAKEO Co., Ltd.
Shigeru TAKEO
Kenya HARA + Hara Design Institute, Nippon Design Center
Oji F-Tex Co., Ltd.
Daio Paper Corporation
Daiwa Itagami Co., Ltd.
Chuetsu Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd.
Tokushu Tokai Paper Co., Ltd.
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
Hokuetsu Corporation
Mitsubishi Paper Mills Limited
LINTEC Corporation
Japan Paper Association
Mihoncho Honten, TAKEO Co., Ltd.
Tel: 03-3292-3669 (Weekdays 11:00–18:00)


2nd and 3rd floors, KANDA SQUARE
2-2-1 Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

3-minute walk from Exit B7 at either Ogawamachi Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line, Awajicho Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, or Shin-ochanomizu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line / 5-minute walk from Exit A9 at Jimbocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or the Toei Mita Line. / 6-minute walk from Exit 3b at Takebashi Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. / 9-minute walk from Hijiri-bashi exit at JR Ochanomizu Station. / 10-minute walk from Exit 4 (North entrance) at JR Kanda Station or from Exit 4 at Kanda Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.

Mihoncho Honten
This is a space where visitors are able to become more familiar with fine papers through physical interactions with them. On the first floor is a store where papers can be purchased, and on the second floor, paper samples are on display alongside with exhibition held to best present the appeal of fine paper. During TAKEO Paper Show 2023, a con-current exhibition “TAKEO PAPER PRODUCTS: EXHIBIT+STORE 2023” featuring TAKEO’s original paper products, will be on display.

TAKEO Co., Ltd.

TAKEO Co., Ltd. is a specialized paper trading company established in 1899.
Since its establishment, TAKEO has been an importer and marketer of papers. In the 1950s, TAKEO has begun researches and development of fine papers that emphasize properties such as texture and color. TAKEO creates papers in paper manufacturers inside and outside of Japan to adopt state of the art technology, as well as with leading designers of the next generation to stimulate creativity. The company is also an active promoter of paper culture in Japan, operating Mihoncho Honten and other showrooms,
the website and TAKEO ARCHIVES project.

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Talk session venue: Kanda Square Room (3F)

Doors open 30 minutes before each session starts.
Recording and videotaping are not permitted.
Eating during the session is prohibited.
Please make sure of application note beforehand at the reservation page.
All the session is conducted in Japanese only.