Newsletter 011
Full moon 4:16am Jan, 29th. JST

Here at the start of the year, my 6th decade, and more importantly season 2 of this newsletter. I’ve attempted to take a break from it all, with varying success.

It’s more troublesome than I thought! Being accustomed to being busy in a society of busy people, busily being busy. I found myself working extra-hard in an effort to slow-down and take things easy.

On top of that, a necessity to prepare one's mental fortitude to withstand the finger-pointing majority who have their values in a twist. Success can still be found behind the socially accepted: rimōtowāku. This secret password puts most a ease, safe in the knowledge that I’m doing my sosharu disutansu part in the grand scheme of things.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m James Gibson and this is my newsletter —season 2— about designing our responsible lives and regenerating our habitual social agreements.


Isn’t it often the ones who dare speak up —through nervousness and doubt, yet somehow compelled— to say honest truths. Not from a place of anger or outrage, but from a complex inner turmoil of experience, observation and contemplation — authenticity, intuition and transparency. Attempting to explain the vastness of being & doing in an effort to understand, be accepted and inspire?

In a few words making this whole place just a little bit better.

I visited the Yanagi Sori Design Memorial in Kanazawa. No stranger to his works of design — having had an Elephant Stools couple follow me from house to house for years. At the time I purchased them, some 25 years ago, I didn’t know who this Sori Yanagi was. I simply liked them.

The exhibit is small, yet pleasing to once again familiarise with his colours, textures and forms. A comforting reminder that they exist. It’s evident that much thought and care —I want to say physical touch and manipulation by seeing, feeling hands— has gone into each and everyone. This is something to be appreciated regardless whether you like any particular item or not.

Artefacts of a time between mass and craft production, emphasising the best of both worlds.

Turning a corner you find a series of quotes or statements on the wall. All insightful, but one in particular accompanied me on my return journey:

Design depends on society.

With a bracketed explanatory:

 (*Good designs are found in a wholesome society.)

With car pointed in the direction of home, following the line of snow-covered mountains fading to my left... “Design depends on society”. I believe this to be true not only from the macro of society, but also to the micro of the individual designer. If a designer —lets say a worker— isn’t “wholesome” then how could we ever expect “good” work to come from their toiling hands?

Note to self ;) focus efforts on wholesomenessgood will be forthcoming.

… and so it goes.


Nutrition Movement Community Purpose

Photographs series:
Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan 2021

This is an Arukari Newsletter sent out each full moon.