“FIST BUMP,” part of the J-VAVE’s radio program “GRAND MARQUEE,” features Tokyoites.
The episode of May 2nd was joined by designer Taiichi Hiramoto introduced by video director Eisuke Shirota. Hiramoto explains his role as a director for “Hobonichi,” a website run by a Japanese copywriter Shigesato Itoi. He also tells us what interests him outside of his work.
“Kind, strong and interesting” company that offers quality time
Celeina (MC): Hiramoto-san, you work for “Almost a Day,” which is run by Shigesato Itoi, so can you tell us again what kind of media Almost a Day is?
Hiramoto: Thank you very much. Almost a Day” manages media and also has a main product called “Almost a Day Notebook.
Takano (MC): Hiramoto-san, I use it.
Hiramoto: Thank you very much! I’m extremely happy. Itoi’s concept is that we are a company that provides customers with a good time. And our approach is to be “kind, strong, and interesting. This order is important. We are a company that creates and delivers a variety of products and contents to provide a good time, and we also provide time to talk about interesting things like this radio show.
Takano: That’s why. The Almost-a-Day website has a softness to it. That’s a kindness, isn’t it?
Hiramoto: I don’t think there is probably anyone who doesn’t like to be treated kindly.
Celeina: Hiramoto-san, I understand that your title at Almost a Day is “director.
Hiramoto: I originally joined the company as a designer, and I used design to run various products and projects, but in order to provide a good time, I create various things anyway. I have also launched a YouTube channel and Almost-a-Day Live Commerce, a new shopping place created by Almost-a-Day, and held a shopping festival called “Tanoshimi no Tanoshimi Exhibition”. I work as a director, creating teams while designing and carrying out various projects.
Takano: So you have a variety of outputs, or you don’t question the means to make a good time.
Celeina: How did you come to work at Almost a Day?
Hiramoto: I originally worked as a designer at a design office called “Cap” and was in charge of design for Magazine House’s magazine “Casa BRUTUS” for about two years. I love Magazine House magazines, and I happened to catch a glimpse of a special feature on Mr. Itoi in the BRUTUS editorial department next door, and although I knew of Mr. Itoi, that was the first time I learned about the company. I was very interested in it, and then they happened to be looking for a designer, and I was fortunate enough to join the company.
Celeina: Hiramoto-san, you have loved radio since you were a student, and I saw on your Instagram profile that you wrote “radio listener” as your title (laughs).
Hiramoto: Thank you. I’m glad I wrote that (laughs). I have been doing design since I was a student, and I spend a lot of time alone, whether for assignments or work.
For example, when I am working under pressure of deadlines and other various things, I tend to feel down, but when I look back, I realize that what I created in that way is not much different from what I created when I was relaxed. Sometimes I think that by listening to the radio and listening to the random conversations, I am able to create a lot of good work in a relaxed state. It encourages me a lot.
Takano: That’s great news, coming from a radio broadcaster. You are such a radio enthusiast, and I think music is one of the attractions of radio, so I asked Mr. Hiramoto to choose a song he would like everyone to listen to together on the radio at this time. What kind of music would you like to listen to?
Hiramoto: The reason I chose this song was how comfortable I am singing it. Naotaro Moriyama’s “To All Living Things”.
The most unproductive day off at Sento
Celeina: Hiramoto-san, the event you mentioned earlier is taking place during Golden Week, right?
Hiramoto: Yes, it is. There is an event called “Tanoshimi no Tanoshimi Exhibition” held by Almost a Day. It is a shopping festival where stores of various products related to daily life, such as sundries and food, which are usually associated with Almost Day, gather together. Many people have come to the event, and everyone seems to be having a great time. The location is Shinjuku Sumitomo Building, Triangle Square.
Takano: Mr. Hiramoto, do you have any products that are of interest to us?
Hiramoto: There are so many things to choose from that it’s hard to choose just one, but I would have to go to ……. Almost Day and Koikeya made potato chips together, and I recommend them.
Celeina: I’m looking forward to it. Hiramoto-san, outside of work, is there any culture that you are into right now?
Hiramoto: When I get busy with work, I make a day when I don’t really do anything and just laze around. Sometimes I go in the morning and stay until just before closing time.
Takano: How do you spend your time?
Hiramoto: I take a bath, go to the open-air bath, then go to the sauna, take an air bath, and go back out. I would make time to not think about anything, take another bath, and repeat the process.
Takano: There are reclining chairs in the rest areas of super public bathhouses, aren’t there? There are also a lot of comic books.
Hiramoto: But I dare not really do anything.
Takano: So you cut off even the input.
Hiramoto: It’s not easy to do that (laughs).
Celeina: Digital detox.
Hiramoto: Yes, that’s right.
Celeina: FIST BUMP” is a circle of friends connected by “Goo-Touch,” and you introduce your friends to us.
Hiramoto: Yes, I do. He is an illustrator, Mr. Ocataoka. When I first met him, I asked him, “Where should I cut your name?” I asked him, and he said, “Everyone calls me Mr. Oka,” so sometimes I call him Mr. Oka, but sometimes I call him Mr. Oka Oka.
Celeina: Ocataoca-san. How did you become friends?
Hiramoto: Yes. I was in charge of the art direction for the “Enjoying Life” exhibition that I mentioned earlier, and I used your illustrations to create the DMs and main visuals for the exhibition.
Celeina: I see. How would you describe Ocataoka in one word?
Hiramoto: He is my “taste mentor.
Takano: An illustrator, but a mentor of taste.
Hiramoto: He knows many good restaurants. He is from Kyushu, so when I visit Kyushu, I call him and he tells me about the best restaurants. He told me about great places to eat wherever I went. I thought he only knew Kyushu, but he seems to know Tokyo better than I do (laughs).
Takano: I’m sorry if I’ve raised the bar, but I’m looking forward to it. Thank you very much. Tomorrow, I will be talking to illustrator Okataoka-san.
Celeina: Today’s guest is designer Taiichi Hiramoto. Thank you very much.
Hiramoto: Thank you very much.
J-WAVE (81.3FM) Mon-Thu 16:00 – 18:50
Navigator: Shinya Takano, Celeina Ann