A collaboration between Ukrainian designers and 6 Kyoto traditional craft companies

A message from a Ukrainian designer

In March 2022, Fukusada received a message from a designer with whom he had been friends with for some time. This friend was none other than Denis Sokolov, the co-founder of SVOYA studio, a Ukrainian design studio with 16 designers. Denis reached out to his designer friends and expressed that he wanted to continue to design in order to support his country even in the dire situation that they were in.

An encounter with “Kyoohoo”

Together with WGD Kyoto, Fukusada asked for cooperation in product development from the cross-industry exchange group “Kyoohoo”, which is responsible for Kyoto’s traditional industries, and six companies agreed to join hands on this project.

Purpose of this project


Ryosuke Fukusada, a designer living in Kyoto, has collaborated with SVOYA Studio as a Design Director on a project to develop 6 products that link traditional Japanese manufacturing with efforts to help Ukraine. This collaboration between FUKUSADA STUDIO, SVOYA Studio and Kyoohoo (Kyoto Inter-industry Exchange Association) aims to support SVOYA Studio’s activities in Ukraine in facilitating economic recovery through design. This is an effort to provide support by selling products and remitting part of the sales to Ukraine.

▲ Six co-founders of SVOYA studio. Denis is on the upper left.

Kyoto crafts of Ukrainian design

The products are designed based on motifs, folk crafts, and ideas that have been used in Ukraine for a long time. Using the techniques handed down in Kyoto and expressing things that have been cherished in Ukraine should convey strong messages.

Designing a kokeshi doll with the motif of the motanka doll, the oldest sacral amulet in Ukraine. A cross on the motanka doll’s face represents the sun and a sign of well- being. The motanka dolls is a very strong amulet that carries and attracts solar energy from all four corners of the world. It is our wish that we can protect lives via these kokeshi dolls with motanka designs.

These pots are based on the silhouette of the characteristic Ukrainian potteries. We have made them linear in shape in order to express the Ukrainian people’s strong will to fight the current adversity that they face. We design these products with the hope that by arranging even a single flower in a vase, that we will create a peaceful future and that the time will come when we can drink together using these pots as sake cups.

These motifs are traditional folk paintings that are also drawn on the walls of Ukrainian houses. The world tree and bird paintings are often used as the patterns. A tree is a symbol of the cycle of lives. Just as people are connected to their ancestors, their parents, children, and grandchildren so is the tree connecting to the seeds and saplings that came before it and will come after it. The birds are divine messengers that protect the tree. By choosing these motifs, we use our wishes to protect our usual calm lives.

About Kyoohoo

A cross-industry exchange group established in September 2000 by various companies involved in Kyoto’s traditional crafts (Secretariat: Kyoto Sangyo 21). Through the cooperation and activities of companies with different business categories, they promote market development around the world in order to spread the traditional products of Kyoto to the world.

ISUKE & Co., LTD. (Representative: Toshiyuki Okino):

Established in the Bunsei era, devoted to traditional Japanese urushi lacquer for over 190 years.

ISUKE & Co., LTD.  was founded as a lacquer dealer in Kyoto during the Bunsei era about 190 years ago. Since then, they have specialized in lacquer and other unique paints. We are now involved in the planning and sales of lacquerware.

UNSODO Co., LTD. (Representative: Hirotaka Yamada):

Founded in 1891. Japan’s only traditional hand-printed woodblock publisher.

Unsodo was founded in Kyoto in 1891 as a publisher of art books. They are the only publisher in Japan that publishes hand-printed woodblock prints. They use this technique to produce and sell various art books and high-quality original Japanese miscellaneous goods.

OKUMURA Planning Office CO.,LTD. (Representative: Kensuke Okumura):

A new style vessel. fuuu.

We are a company that widely disseminates the splendour of Japan’s world-class tradition and culture to the world. In order to spread Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware to modernity, we established the “Touken Kiln” and launched the brand “fuuu” to breathe new life into traditional Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware.

Kimura Ohshido Co., Ltd. (Representative: Yasuyuki Kimura):

A doll with a modest yet strong presence

For more than 130 years since its founding in 1888, we have set up a company and a directly managed store in front of the gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto. We offer unique hand-crafted dolls.

Taniguchi Seigado Ltd (Representative: Kazuhiko Taniguchi) :

The warmth that only hand-made tableware can convey

Since their founding in 1932, Taniguchi Seigado has specialised in wholesale and retail of Kyoto ware and Kiyomizu ware in front of Kiyomizu Temple. Recently, we have also launched the Seigado Studio “Tokoku Kiln” in Chawanzaka, where we are constantly working with craftsmen to create new potteries.

Maruwa Co., Ltd. (Representative: Toshiharu Hayashi):

Furoshiki serve an important role when giving gifts in Japan.

With the motto “Furoshiki is a tool that wraps the heart”, we are a company that conveys such hearts as caring for others, cherishing things, and caring nature. In addition to our products, we also create personalised items such as commemorative and promotional items including original furoshiki, fukusa, noren curtains, etc., and sell them nationwide.

Project planner


Ryosuke Fukusada established the design company FUKUSADA STUDIO in Kyoto in 2012. He is a Product Designer with a track record spanning a variety of projects with domestic companies in Japan as well as renowned international companies in Italy and Denmark.


Crowdfunding will start on September 22nd!

*Developed products are scheduled to be pre-sold at crowdfunding “READYFOR” starting at 16:00 on September 22nd (Thursday). (Available to order only in Japan.)