Kuwasawa Yoko (1910 – 1977)
Since 1930s, Kuwasawa Yoko played an active part in the world of design journalism, covering the fields of architecture, interior planning and dress design.
During the early part of her career , she came to know the existence of the ‘Bauhaus’, a comprehensive school of art and design established by the architect Walter Gropius in 1919 at Weimar, Germany. She was deeply impressed by the philosophy of Gropius and became strongly influenced by his thought, which had much in common with her beliefs.
She believed that functionality and practicability was essential to design. She also felt keenly the need for the comprehensive basic education of design and the importance of specialized education of design. So, she endeavored to realize an educational institute, and finally in 1954, she established ‘Kuwasawa Design School’, a specialized school of design which was quite epoch-making in those days,(considering that it was only eight-and-a-half years after Japan was defeated in the WWII). She could get the cooperation of numbers of spirited educators, artists and designers to teach at her institute. Furthermore, to seek for a higher education of art and design, she established Tokyo Zokei University in 1966, becoming herself the President and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
Not hesitating trial-and-errors, she had flexibility as well as firmness, which was peculiar to her way of education. She nurtured a lot of people of talents, who are playing active role in variety of fields after graduation, and their works are highly recognized.
Among her writings, there is “Kuwasawa Yoko’s Dress Design”, published by Fujin- Gahou-Sha, in 1977.
In 1973, she was awarded a Blue Ribbon Medal for the long years of contribution to education. She passed away on 12th of April, 1977, at the age of sixty-six.