Rock ’n’ Roll Meets Kumihimo: A Love & Peace Kumihimo Guitar Strap

Purpose of The Collaboration

Yanai Michihiko is a creative director for advertising, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the free paper Kazetorock (Wind and Rock), the honorary director of the community radio station Shibuya no Radio, and the guitarist for the rock band Inawashirokos. He engages in a wide range of promotional and communication-based projects aimed at society at large, conceptualizing all of his activities as “advertisements” in the broadest sense of the term. For this collaboration, Yanai teamed up with Higashi Setsuko, a kumihimo braided cord artist, to produce a traditionally braided kumihimo guitar strap—an innovative accessory with great significance for Yanai. Higashi operates a kimono and kumihimo school in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. The art of kumihimo is centuries old, and the cords have long been used as kimono accessories and as ties for securing traditional letter boxes. The beautifully braided patterns of kumihimo reflect the hours of painstaking repetition that go into producing each cord.

Yanai Michihiko

Born in 1964 in Fukushima Prefecture, Yanai is a Tokyo-based creative director and a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts Department of Design. He also plays guitar for the rock band Inawashirokos, which made an appearance on the popular annual New Year’s Eve televised music contest NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen in 2011.

Tower Records,
“NO MUSIC, NO LIFE.” Ishikawa Sayuri|2017
AD: Yanai Michihiko

Higashi Setsuko

Born in 1944 in Ishikawa Prefecture, Higashi is a kumihimo braided cord artist. Based in her quiet Kanazawa workshop surrounded by nature, Higashi pursues her craft and teaches cordmaking classes to foster interest in the art of kumihimo braiding. In 2019, Higashi received the Sanyo Shimbun Award at the 53rd Japan Traditional Kogei Textile Arts Exhibition.

Kumihimo (braided cord)|Katakara braid