Designer of Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle Has Died

I always wondered who did that. I feel that ketchup and mustard are still searching, but the soy sauce bottle is the perfect delivery device. RIP.

Now, that’s immortality in design.


RIP. That bottle is a great blend of tradition + new, original design, and I think the spout is the least dribble-some I have used, compared to every other teapot, coffeemaker, and measuring cup out there.

For those that haven’t seen, he did some awesome architectural stuff too (unfortunately I don’t think much of it ever came to be).

He was a great. A heavy weight. His family history is incredible as well, worth reading more about him.

He designed several Shinkansen, a few Yamaha YZ450 dirt bikes (again, legendary), the shoyu bottle, and wrote a book called ‘The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox’.

(this is me, bowing very low in his honor.)

He also led the design team of Atsushi Ichijo and Takeshi Umemotothe for the Yamaha V-Max in 1984(VMAX since 2008). I wasn’t too fond of it then; excellent in a straight line, rubber chassis, squeamish in the corners. But he didn’t “design” it from the ground up, so no foul.

But they still sell it so that’s certainly a testament to his continued relationship with Yamaha. His 30th Anniversary tribute, the VMAX Carbon, was released was last week.

Specification-wise it hasn’t changed much since 1985, and I still don’t care for it.

Read this > The GK Report, #19, from 2010 and you will learn what influenced these shapes (the intake in particular) and you’ll even be able to understand how this (below) relates to the VMAX. Cool stuff.

Hats off to a real industrial design pioneer.

Lately I’ve been wondering if he ever picked up any chicks at sushi bars by telling them, “you know, I designed that soy sauce bottle.”

Only he would’ve been able to say that. :laughing:

He must be rolling in his grave by now.

Kikkoman bottle, 1961. Hello Kitty launch, 1974. In a way they were contemporaries, and although quite far apart conceptually, I think at some level Ekuan-san would be OK with it. Especially given the patina of 40 or 50 years of history.

Would love to see/curate/host a gallery of Kikkoman bottle mash-ups a la Kidrobot Dunny.