"Since it originated before clothing, jewelry was 'mankind's first
clothing'", Mr. Arai states. In the textile designer's collection are the necklaces
of the nude race, folk costumes, fabric from ancient to modern times made of hemp,
plantain and cotton, sets of vessels, stretched skin and wooden chairs, hats, hand
puppets, shadow puppets, ore, shells, tools and 20 to 30 different kinds of tea.
Many items are from Southeast Asia and Africa. About classification he says,
"Everything I've collected is natural and functional.
In other words, they aren't 'commodities'. There is a tendency for things to degenerate
when they become goods to be exchanged for money. That's why all these things are not
'commercial products'. But I wonder how I came to collect African things when I've never
Starting inside London's Liberty department store, he set up his own stores in Europe
and North America to persuade the world to buy his brand, 'NUNO'. In 1987, he was the
first Japanese to be awarded honorary membership to the British Monarchy Art Association,
receiving the title, 'Royal Designer for Industry'.
In October, 1992, he received a design medal from the international designers at the
British Design Institute. This was also a first for a Japanese. His wife is print maker