Asuka Design Week 2016 — Asuka, Nara Prefecture, Japan

Satoyama where people lived for about 1,500 years and appearance of temple and shrine gives much inspiration for discussing design. Asuka Design Week was developed for varied people to obtain rich inspiration from this cultural climate. Asuka’s icon, Ishibutai Tumulus made in the 7th century is a tomb of aristocracies who had extreme power. It is now a huge grass park where people enjoy seasonal landscape. Free live pop music, Asuka Otowa Festival was held there in the end for trial of reviving the landscape ASUKA DESIGN WEEK “Asuka Music & Story Festival”, GAKU-MC, National Asuka historic park Ishibutai Tumulus Asuka Kaze Butai. Japanese rapper GAKU-MC showed “rhythm for dancing together” and “song for singing together” to the all generation on the green field, then followed by woman vocalist Salyu on the magically lighted stage in the darken forest. Yo Hitoto and other musicians respect her as “Most talented singer in Japan”. Her melodious voice attracted all at the venue so much that people called for an encore for 30 minutes after the live and even though it had shower during the last song. The festival closed with touching and comfortable vibe.

Asuka area is where Japanese leading creative people want to have much conversation. The beauty of Japanese Satoyama culture that has been brought for 1000 years is condensed there. You only see the image of capital of 1500 years ago through tumulus, stone and Buddhist statue left in the shrine. However as the location tells it was the first international city, nature environment where people comfortably lived has been inherited to farm filed and forest. Not authority but hands of people have protected the temple and shrine. After Japan’s economic growth, much development has been seen everywhere and life became convenient. People have protected historic landscape of Asuka area. Regional people and business men like Konosuke Matsushita who is the founder of Panasonic encouraged to make special law: Asuka law for protecting Asuka village and its continuity. Now protection and succession of cultural climate has become trend.

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