Marimekko designer Fujiwo Ishimoto returns to his roots in Ehime

When I arrive at Mustakivi’s flagship store in Toko, Ehime Prefecture, I am greeted quietly by 82-year-old Ehime-born designer Fujiwo Ishimoto. He opened the back door and opened the door next door and waved me in. We pass the kiln room and enter a studio filled with ceramic pieces.

Fans of Finnish brand Marimekko may be familiar with Ishimoto’s colorful, nature-inspired designs. He created over 400 patterns and designs during his 32-year career with the company founded by Armi Ratia (1912-79), one of Finland’s most famous designers and entrepreneurs. But it was the work of another Marimekko artist that caught Ishimoto’s attention years before he arrived in the country.

Fujiwo Ishimoto recalls arriving in Finland in 1970 and says he noticed that everything around him was 'pure white’. | Lance Henderson

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