Pine Tree, Crane and Tortoise

Pine Tree, Crane and Tortoise

Kiya, an atmospheric, renovated Kyoto townhouse that offers private, members-only weddings, is located in Kiyamachi. I was asked to create a quiet space where bride and groom might be able to take memorable photographs to the sound of the Kamo River, with the view of Higashiyama resplendent out the window. For the work “KIYA,” we chose the pine tree as the karakami concept.

The work features symbolic trees with cranes and tortoises quietly tucked away to wish the bride and groom happiness. The backdrop is a cloud-like pattern that represents a hope for fertility, and a prayer for the long relationship of any couple to be wed on this spot.

We were ecstatic to receive kind words from the client, who said that “The space has been transformed with a dignified and sacred atmosphere, perfect for weddings.”

Countless newlyweds now have their wedding photos taken in front of this karakami piece.
Karakami is more than just a covering for sliding doors, decorative paper, or designs.
It changes a room’s ambience and creates a beautiful presence.
Through this karakami, I wanted to convey the Japanese people’s innate recognition of the beauty in shadows and blank spaces, along with the importance of seeing with the eyes of the heart.

December 2021
Karakami Artist Toto Akihiko

Pine Tree, Crane and Tortoise|THE OAK GARDEN members-only restaurant “Kiya”