Message From Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma | Architect | Kengo Kuma & Associates

Before I had the chance of working abroad, I didn’t notice how great Japanese craftsmen were. In any given country I thought I’d meet skilled craftsmen simply by going to rural areas. But once I started to work all over the world, visiting various countrysides, I was disappointed. I rediscovered not only the magnificence of Japanese craftsmens’ skills but also their humbleness and flexibility. I’m very happy to be able to work with them now.

Nowadays however, the number of craftsmen is suddenly decreasing and amid uncertainty about who is going to succeed them, most have no hope for the future.

I hope the Japan Woodcraft Association creates the conditions to reverse this situation. Because, as happened in the past with the Japanese folk art movement ‘Mingei‘, the value of Japan is often appreciated by foreigners.

Kengo Kuma | March 2020

About Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. Before establishing Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990, he received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a Professor of Architecture.

Most recently, Kengo has designed Tokyo’s National Stadium for the 2020 Olympics with wood as a key feature, emphasising his use of traditional materials and techniques in contemporary architectural design.

Kengo Kuma & Associates has designed architectural works in over twenty countries and received prestigious awards, including the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award.

For more information about Kengo Kuma and his work, please visit

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