PV "ReAct" showed the brand world of KUDEN by dance is published on 18th October at same time with Superfest Disability Film Festival .
Wheelchair dancer Kenta Kambara, Director Nobuyuki Arai and representative of KUDEN & Designer Takahiro Sato answered interview about their thoughts and how to create this 4 minute 10 seconds video.
※This interview was recorded on August in 2019.
—First, ask to Mr.Sato. Please tell us why you make this brand video.[Takahiro Sato]
About 2 years from I started my brand KUDEN, Why I make KUDEN is for my son who was diagnosed with moderate mental disability and autism, now living apart.
I have a dream that I work with him in the future.
KUDEN is the place for that dream so I started this brand for all over the world and now make the business.
I began this brand last year and at first we made products with traditional technique but I move to fashion world, design clothes Samurai Mode Jacket this year. It’s my first clothe design and challenge to the world even I’m 43 years old.
I made up my mind to realize the employment of disabled and work with my son. I want to tell impressive message expressed those my thoughts to people who I want them to wear my jacket, wear the clothes I design. So I made the plan for this brand video.
—Also please talk about the reason that you offer to Mr.Kambara and Mr.Arai[Takahiro Sato]
First, about Mr.Kambara, 2 years ago in 2017, when KUDEN tried to make a product for traditional craft and furniture , it’s a very first term of KUDEN, I saw Mr.Kambara’s wheelchair dancing on the stage in some event. It’s a first time to see his dance for live, his performance is so cool. I felt, he has a different atmosphere with others , unearthly performance and awesome quality. The message by his dance moved my heart and I hope someday I collaborate with him. But at that time, I never thought I make Samurai Mode Jacket and go to fashion world, I never known what I do but I want to collaborate with him someday.
Last year, when I started design for fashion and completed Samurai Mode Jacket, I got a picture that if my clothes and dancing by Mr.Kambara collaborate it makes amazing chemistry. So I asked gingerly to him by mail, very long message with my passion.
It’s a start with him.
About Mr.Arai. I have worked in big game company, entertainment and music business world long time so I particular about music and video. When I met Mr.Kambara, I also saw his promotion video and it’s work by Mr.Arai. He extracts good points of Mr.Kambara’s dance, the essence of it. I thought it’s a awesome too and I want to offer to this pair so I asked Mr.kambara to introduce me the director made his promotion video. And I wrote long mail to him too, told I want to work with him and offered him.
—To Mr.Kambara and Mr.Arai, what is the trigger you accept the offer?[Kenta Kambara]
First, I received offer through my acquaintance and Mr.Sato gave me a long, very long message with many passion directly and I decided to participate.But it’s a little busy time especially for video so I wondered if I receive or not but I got a enthusiastic message by him and he told me I can do when I want so I decided to do.
I have experience of video shooting with Mr.Kambara at Shinjuku once before. At that time, it’s a just simply video and we talked that “ want to make video together properly next time.” And Mr.Kambara contacted me with plan of video work so I want to give it a try. This is my story for becoming a member of this project.
—Next, I want to hear the backstage story. What were you particular about choreography?[Kenta Kambara]
The most important thing of this video is clothes so I considered how should I move to emphasize the clothes. I saw videos that other people dance wearing kimono. In addition, I think moving like receive the wind can show the feature of this clothes so I tried to up my arms and make the position to receive the wind on sleeve. Moving to catch the wind, considered what is soft moving and add my skill and choreography already I have. Also the place I dance on, like tried to handstand on between rocks, I put a value on the place.
—Was there ad-lib or not?[Kenta Kambara]
Many. I didn’t know where I dance on so when I go there and see the place, “I can use this place” “this rock is suitable for my move”, like that I didn’t particular what I planed, I changed it to make my best each time and each place.
—Did you come up at that day?[Kenta Kambara]
The scene I dance in the rain, I think I can do it because of that place and that situation. For example, I think making splash by hitting puddle is the choreography I can do because I was on that situation and place.
—To Mr.Arai as director. You decided structure, music and also did video&photo shooting and edit. Please talk about your creation process and story.
I thought about his clothes Samurai Mode Jacket and also he has many and strong passion. So I wonder if it’s a OK that I make what I want to make. Not only make what I like but also consider about what Mr.Sato see and think. Just at that time, it’s a sad story, I heard that the sewing company Marron went bankrupt(*), his thoughts. I want to show those story through this video. I got the idea like that and create the video.
Our partner sewing factory Marron Co., Ltd. went bankrupt because of the effect of cost reduction for subcontracting company etc.
I don’t good at starting to create something from zero, so I thought about Samurai Mode Jacket, also samurai and moving of Mr.Kambara. I decided music first. I have many material , the source of idea so I constructed them, ultimately I put high value on the moving by Mr.Kambara can express what Mr.Sato think.
Also I considered about the place. To seem his moving bigger, I selected spacious place with natural texture. What should I say…pattern, something jagged, I want to take the video at the place shows like those texture. I set up them.
I don’t know I can tell you what I want, I have worked with Mr.Kambara before so I have an image of his dance so let Mr.Kambara in my head dance again and again and think about suitable music for it. Like that, I picked up the music.
—To Mr.Sato who make a concept of this video. What do you want to tell the most through this ReAct?[Takahiro Sato]
It’s also about the title, at first for me, I think KUDEN is the brand that really show my personality so much. I have a strong thought that I want to make the world that children had disability can work and earn the money by themself with smile. In fact, I have a experience that work in charge of employment of disabled when I was in some toy company. The episode for that time, some man comes to work from company dormitory and the staff in that dormitory told me they need advise. They said, he spend his income soon. I asked him “ what you spend for ?” And he said he bought ice cream. Also ask him “ If you buy so many ice cream ,you may get an upset stomach. What for and why you spend ?” He answered with pretty smile, “Working hard, and earn the money, ice cream I buy by those money is so delicious.” At that time, I was a office worker yet, but I never thought my salary as like that and it’s devastating for me. When heard it, I felt the root of joy for working. After I get married and have a child, found his disability, I wanted him to feel the joy of working , buy something he like by money earned by himself. I think this video send strong reasonable message, those my thoughts to the social, my son, feeling as a father, parent and human.
—This title ReAct has the meaning for "overcome" "stand up". What is your ReAct experience?[Takahiro Sato]
I write about it on the brand book too. I have a experience that closed own company because I collapsed by overwork. In short, I went bankrupt. At that time, I go to different way with beloved family, must dismiss my staff. I had spent my days with worries.
I started my own company Gerbera Design Inc. and KUDEN business but I have experienced going bankrupt my design company before, I slept only 3 hours everyday and worked too much time, I collapsed because of overwork. I got separated from my beloved family and couldn't avoid dismissing employees.
For that time, I made my own company to cares for my parents had cancer at the same time, I never taken care of them if I go to work. I had many stains of worry, care for my parents, raising my son, hard work. Now it becomes a problem and there is Work Style Reform. I experienced difficulty through many kinds of problem.
But now, I receive warm and big support from everyone included my staffs. I make a place that my son works. I believe the future that disabled people like my son can work and earn with smile is also good society for the young age like my staffs. KUDEN is a small brand and have many things I can’t do yet, but I work hard and stand up with wisdom and courage.
When Mr.Kambara danced for video shooting, I also participated in this shooting, I saw he dancing with a sweeping water of his arm in the rain. I felt he expresses my conflict again, my past self felt “ why only me? I had too many hardship “. But I realized I have to change myself because I’m a father, my son is Takeru, I am a father of Takeru and woke up my mind. When I saw his dance, I also see the picture that I stood up in my head. I took a video and stare at that scene by Mr.Kambara and Mr.Arai with tears. It’s a impressive moment of this shooting.
Through my dancer life, I feel ReAct experience many times. Like “ Am I a really suited to this big role? “, collaborate with very famous people and many staffs work hard for just me. I can’t make mistakes and need guts, also decisiveness.
For the biggest ReAct experience is, actually performing on closing ceremony in Rio Paralympic. I had to dance in front of 70,000 people but I started dancing only 6 months before. When making practice, suddenly they decided I dance as a soloist . It’s a 2 days before ceremony. I felt “I really deserve it?” “If I make a mistake…” because over the hundred people support me and also people in Japan watch me, I bear such a thing. So that is my big ReAct experience. But this experience gives me confident and now I can stand up to anything because of that.
I get nervous every time for shooting. I always mess up for first cut, I can’t take a good one. When I look those shot, I think “Oh my goodness…”, I think every time. Conflict and focus on how can I make them better and give instructions to team.
That is. it’s a ReAct.
I try hard every time for every shooting, face the work to make the best.
—Please talk about your belief as each creator.[Takahiro Sato]
I couldn’t go to the university because I come from not a rich family so I began to work when I was 19 years old. I leant many kinds of things by my own way. I have worked in entertainment business, toy company, game company , music business world and also multinational IT company. What I put highest value on is I’m not an artist but a commercial designer. I think deeply why this design is needed, what is the goal of this design must archive and I design to realize those mission. This is my most important belief as designer.
Those my belief comes from my experience in Automotive Technical school, actually I drop out that school but I like the construction of car. Each parts, even a little screw has own function. Industrial design has a difficulty that we must be able to explain the reason for each part, why this screw is here. With those detail-oriented philosophy, for fashion, video, music and I’m sure includes product design, I value on what I can explain the reason of design and context.
About this Samurai Mode jacket, I designed with thinking for comfortable to wear, and people wearing this clothes. Especially I think about context to pass the kimono to next generation. I hope someday I talk about those thoughts for design in another opportunity.
I realize through dancing, I’m sure daily life with wheelchair has troubles and disadvantages. But for dance, the limit like different shape of foot and can’t move legs changes to advantage that move the heart of audience. That’s why there is something I can tell. I realized dance has those special things and what only I can do is not because of wheelchair. I aim for dance that only I can do even in people with wheelchair.
During creation, I wonder to myself again and again. “ Is this a really what they want?” And “ Is this a really cool one? “ I watch my work many times and think again. Also in the runup to shooting, when I select the place, I ask to myself that can I take best one there. Asking to myself many times makes better my work, I think.
I feel the pressure for all process of creation. Especially for this video, I spent a lot of time for picking up background music. To not leave the house, listened over hundred songs because I never wanted to create with regret and worry.
—What do you want to try next?[Takahiro Sato]
The concept of this time is Ethical and Mode. Customer may think KUDEN doesn’t release new product often but I don’t like disposal design at all. I’m leave it to fast fashion. I never change my stance that I release the new product only when I meet good design, partner like sewing factory, fabric, and also make a good chemistry with them. But I want to challenge the new color for Samurai Mode Jacket, e.g. Blue Black. ((Released on November in 2019)) I already start to design for my new product, shoes, bag and jeans. I have designed the product to be so me and people love over 10 years as a fashion designer.
I want to continue to do something exciting. Specifically, I hope I can dance on the either opening or closing ceremony of Games of the XXXII Olympiad or Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. (Interviewed on August in 2019)Especially Olympic, it doesn’t have a competition that wheelchair user can participate but we have the right for the ceremony. Not making the flame by myself like “my way is only for Paralympic because I use the wheelchair “, I should look at Olympic too. If I can dance for Olympic, it has great meaning because it becomes trigger to people have interests on Paralympic more.
What I want to try next. Every time to take a video and photo, my-rule is getting created. But sometime on the process of creating, I realize it doesn’t need a rule. I can’t explain well but when I create something new, I want to forget the work I have done before. With fresh feeling , forget the way I did and what I thought before, I want to keep creating something new more and more.
—About the second video, do you want to participate it?[Kenta Kambara]
Sure but there is one worrisome thing. I wander if I can better dance than this video. If asked, honestly I don’t have 100% confident I can do. But I want to continue this long time.
For me, this first video becomes amazing one but I’m sure I must, want to make better one than what I have created before. I always look for better, more wonderful work so I believe we can create better video than this first one. I don’t know when it is but I want to put their current feeling on video.
I went to Italy for photoshooting right after shooting of this video. I want to create videos with Mr.Kambara and Mr.Arai. Like second, third, decide the theme for each one and make it every year until Mr.Kambara get old and he said “ I can’t dance anymore.” And connect to every video, pass to the next one, express the strong of will and conflict, what should I say, strong to protect someone important for ourselves, I want to pile the series put those thoughts on.
—Thank you for sharing your story.
I interviewed with them at the end of August in 2019. After that, COVID-19 changes our world but these three never changed their belief and who they are. Never stop their steps and face up to the future.
You can watch the interview video too.
Playing as a self-employed wheelchair dancer.Born with a disability called Spina Bifida.Not only as street performer/acrobat performer in the air but also work as a system engineer.Performed on closing ceremony of Rio Paralympic in 2016.
Graduated from TOKYO ZOKEI UNIVERSITY in 2011(major in Photography)After that go to Germany and Czech Republic and take photos, start work as photographer in 2014.Also begin vide o creation in 2017 and acted as travel videographer from 2018.
■ Vlog: Ko-hei & Nobuyuki
Main design field is for fashion, product, social and brand.
To help the family, gave up to study art and design in school and began to work in young age. Learnt by own way and worked for many kinds of design field. Didn’t call myself designer because of complex for self‐education but finally called in 43 years old and won the social design award of A’Design Award that is one of the biggest international design competition.
Start KUDEN to work with son with disability now living apart.
Also photographer, Cooking expert and apprenticeship of knife smith.
■ Vlog: Tak_gerbera
Drone pilot/Camera assistant : Yasuyuki Yamada
KUDEN Designer / Owner : Takahiro Sato
Graphic designer : Asami Sato
Interviewer & Writer
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