To connect disappearing Japanese traditional crafts to and for the future. 



Changes in traditional craft production values and employee numbers

Percentage of experience in purchasing products from local and traditional industries

Japan takes pride in producing crafts of Japanese masterpieces that are created by traditional artisans. The sales of their traditional industries have declined by 80% in the last 40 years.The aging of artisans is a social issue, where the most skilled craftsmen are now said to be about 80 years old. Due to the decline, there is a need to train the next generation of artisans. Japanese traditional crafts are in a crisis, where it is said to disappear in 10 years if we do not act towards the future now.



A traditional industrial brand tailored for 0-6 years olds.​​​​​​​


We began by supporting for social entrepreneurs of traditional craft brand from the beginning of establishment called "aeru," a traditional brand for infants between 0 to 6 years old. We directed the overall branding and also the products. We aimed at none other than our future customers for them to become more familiar and accustomed to these traditions, delivered from early childhood. A logo mark that expands outside the Hinomaru red dot indicates a traditional Japan. The circular lattice pattern, which is said to be a "Shippou" (the seven treasures), is designed as a variable logo, overlapping at various angles. We produced this logo mark to express the word "harmony," connecting Japanese traditions to modern lifestyles.

NOSIGNER carries out most of the product and store designs, collaborating to develop numerous products that apprehend children's happiness through traditional industries. By producing fees from brands royalty-compensations, we were able to conduct direction of the entire brand, which is usually difficult for social startups.​​​​​​​




By designing a two-step curve inside the vessel, the child's hand cannot slide under the vessel, preventing any spilling. The inner curve doubles as a function, able to stack with containers even from other production areas. The bowls were designed for one to collect dishes of various production areas of Japan.



Yamanaka Lacquer ware 


Tsugaru Pottery 


Tobe Pottery

砥部焼 (Tobe Pottery)の写真
砥部焼 (Tobe Pottery)を作っているところ

Otani Pottery 

大谷焼 (Otani Pottery)
大谷焼 (Otani Pottery)を作っているところ

We designed a cup with a firm finger catch to resist ‬dropping‭. ‬A‮ ‬handle was not attached for‮ ‬children to hold firmly with both hands voluntarily‭. ‬It is also a small cup as one serving containing a simple shape, suitable for stacking‭.‬​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


小石原焼 (Koishihara Pottery)

Koishihara Pottery 

Tsugaru Lacquer ware

Ryukyu Glassware 

Easy scoop spoon

We designed a spoon with a triangular handle for children to hold the spoon firmly, built with a slight angle to the plate to scoop easily.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


The first soup bowl

A bowl made of Echizen lacquerware for the first time‭. We pursued a lifetime design as a children's soup container‭, as well as a cup for beverages such as tea and coffee‭.‬

越前漆器でつくられた、はじめてのお椀。子供の頃はスープ用として、大人になったらお茶やコーヒーなどの 飲料のカップとして一生使ってもらえるサイズを追求しました。

Safety scissors

We made scissors made of hard wood, which is safe even for use by a child. Even if you choose to use paper, you can easily cut through it.


We collaborated with a traditional brand called "aeru," whose products specially made for 0-6-year-old children. We designed the packaging for a gift set of clothes for a newborn baby. A sweater, a towel, and a pair of socks dyed with "Hon-aizome" (a Japanese traditional indigo blue color) neatly wrapped like beautiful sweets.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Tokushima Indigo dye 

We used natural organic cotton fabric to complement the pureness of the child. The touch is soft and perfect for the child's delicate skin. With its simple design, it can be used efficiently for any outfit.​​​​​​​​​​​​​


We designed a futon to protect the warmth of the child's body, open widely at the neck. It is carefully made one by one by the hands of Kyoto artisans.


We designed the shop space of "aeru Meguro," the  first directly managed store for "aeru." It is a small 53.26 square meter store, designed around a large mobile shelf that responds flexibly to changes throughout the seasons and changing circumstances. Eight-tiered shelves with various heights turn like a fan centering at one point, and as a matter of course, can become a desk or a bench, changing according to the situation, a space full of Japanese craftsmanship works.​​​​​​​


「aeru」にとって初の直営店「aeru meguro」の空間を設計しました。「aeru meguro」は広いとはいえない53.26平米の店舗空間ですが、季節の移ろいや状況の変化に臨機応変に対応できるように、巨大な可動式の棚を中心に設計されています。高さの異なる八段の棚は一点を中心に扇のように可動し、商品の展示はもちろんのこと、時にはデスクやベンチとしても、状況に合わせて変形します。フレキシブルな空間活用を可能にする棚を中心に、日本のクラフトマンシップが詰まった空間が完成しました。

A beacon of hope for traditional industries, as one of Japan's leading social entrepreneurs.


As a female president, Rika Yajima started this company as a student entrepreneur with NOSIGNER, where we were responsible for running side by side for the total design direction. In the seven years since its' foundation, we received business awards such as APEC BEST AWARD as a social enterprise representative of Asia, including many design awards such as Good Design Award. It has been widely recognized as one of the most famous cases for traditional industrial social businesses in Japan and continues to create new markets for children within traditional industries.​​​​​​​

女性社長として学生起業から始まった矢島里佳とトータルなデザインディレクションを担うNOSIGNERが並走しながら、aeruは徐々に大きくなっていきました。創業7年の間にアジアを代表とする社会企業としてAPEC BEST AWARDを始めとするビジネス賞の受賞や、グッドデザイン賞始めとするデザイン賞を数多く受賞しました。日本での伝統産業のソーシャルビジネスにとって最も有名なケースの一つとして広く認識され、今も伝統産業に子どもたちに向けた新しい市場を生み出し続けています。

Art Direction
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)
Graphic Design
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Kaori Hasegawa)
Space Design
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Kunihiko Sato)


[baby dish]
GDA Good Design Award (2013)
[baby robe set]
Kids Design Award: Special Jury Award (2012)
DFA Design for Asia Awards: Silver Award (2012)
[aeru cup]
GDA Good Design Award (2014)
[aeru Merguro Shop]
DSA Award (2015)
DFA Design for Asia Award: Silver Award (2015)​​​​​​​
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