Designer of Musubiya Couen

Nana Kikuta



Q1. What made you decide to establish your own brand? What is meaning of brand name?

One time, I stopped by a store and found a beautiful Origami paper. I immediately thought of creating something out of it, and the idea of making a miniature version of the traditional occasional envelopes called "Goshugi-bukuro." It is usually used to wrap monetary gifts for weddings and celebrations. Gosyugi-bukuro has very distinctive beautiful ribbons wrapping around envelope like a belt called "Mizuhiki." There are so many ways to tie Mizuhiki ribbons, and each design has its meaning behind it.

When I found out about the story behind it, I started to think the ways to make this beautiful tradition more stylish and closer to our life, and that's how my creativity started to explode and that also led me to begin my brand.

The brand name has many origins. The first origin is my grandfather's pseudonym "Koen" as a calligraphy master.  The second and third origin is "rainbow." Rainbow has seven colors, and number 7 in Japanese, nana, and my first name, Nana, has the same pronunciation. All of them combined, I decided to go with "Koen" with the letter 虹 kou, rainbow, and 園 en, park, which is also used in my grandfather's pseudonym. 

ある時、何気なく立ち寄った雑貨屋で素敵な折り紙を見つけました。その折り紙で何か作りたい と考えたときに、ミニチュアのご祝儀袋の形をしたぽち袋を創ろうと考えました。そこで水引に出会います。そこで、水引には結び方がいくつもあり、その結び方のそれぞれに素敵な意味があることを知りました。

Nana Kikuta, Designer of Musubiya Couen

Nana Kikuta, Designer of Musubiya Couen


Q2. What made you interested in NY market?

The beauty of Japanese culture has already been acknowledged across the world. New York city attracts many talented creators from over the world so I thought New York would be a great place to spread awareness of the beauty of Japanese culture even more through my creations. 


Q3. Which one is your favorite piece? And why?

I like "Tama-Musubi" the most. It's so powerful.

Ichoshi is "Tama-Musubi Jade Knob". Tama-Musubi is very powerful. After tieing in the most basic style called Awaji-style, add heights and create a spheric knot by repeatedly tieing one end of the ribbon. In ancient Japan, people used to say that "there's a soul in a knot." The first style used in this product, Awaji-style, has a meaning to pray for a long lasting fate/relationship. The collection of knots with the wish for the long-lasting relationship eventually creates a sphere, as if it represents how we meet people in life searching for the perfect balanced and long-lasting relationship. Wisdom and truth, everything is in this Tama-Musubi. 

イチオシは『Tama-Musubi 玉結び』です。 玉結びはとてもパワフルです。 あわじむすびという一番基本の結び方を結んだあと、平面的だった結びを立体に立ち上げ、一本の水引を、結び目を重ねて繰り返していくことで丸く整えていきます。かつて日本では『結び目には魂が宿る』、と言われ、また『間には取り込む力がある』と言われてきました。一番最初にむすぶ、あわじむすびには『末永いご縁を祈る』という意味があります。このあわじむすびを丸く整え繰り返してむすぶ玉結びは、ご縁を繰り返すように丸を創っていきます。日本には『袖振り合うも多生の縁』という言葉があります。この玉結びには叡智や真理、すべてが詰まっていると思います。


Q4. Lastly, please share some comments to customers at the ARCADE JAPAN.
   最後に、the ARCADE JAPANのお客様に一言お願いします。

People used to tie and knot the ribbon thinking about the recipient and their happiness and prosperity. A compassionate, warm and loving culture, Mizuhiki. I hope people will like my "Musubi" works!!!  


Text by Nana Jitsukawa