the talk about “Ogaki Festival World Poster Exhibition” by World Designer U.G. Sato and Toshiyasu Nanbu

As a related project of the “Ogaki Festival World Poster Exhibition” held at the Japan International Poster Museum, a public interview of a designer UG Sato and Toshiyasu Nanbu, jury members of a poster exhibition, was held on May 13, 2018.

It was a valuable opportunity to give lectures in Ogaki by two of the internationally active designers.

In a short time I got a variety of stories about the “Ogaki Festival World Poster Exhibition”.


Moderator: Thank you for coming today. First of all, please introduce yourself.

U.G. Sato: I was born in Tokyo, brought up in Tokyo, has been in design for over 50 years. Since I was shocked by French poster painter Raymond Savignac during my high school days, I made an interesting poster and a poster I was surprised with. With the spirit of humor, I think that I’d be happy if someone who looked at the posters smiled. There were many things about war and peace as a theme, but it does not show scary, but draws with the desire to please the viewer.


Nanbu: I specialize in “typography” which designs letters in graphics. I was born in Osaka and brought up in Osaka. I have lived in Tokyo for half a year, but I still love my base in Osaka. Today, typography is becoming major now, but in the age when there is no PC, it was a very plain world even in design. To do typography in that era was to have a decisive ability, but decided to do typography and took the approach of attaching to something and resulting in a character.


Moderator:How was your impression of actually seeing the Ogaki Festival?


U.G. Sato :I have been to Ogaki  many times, but since there were no people at all, I was surprised at seeing the Ogaki festival and wondering if there are such people. Where are you always hiding? I thought that (laugh). I was very happy when the Ogaki Festival was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage site. In Ogaki it is not well known that even big festival is in Tokyo. Therefore, I used a large Yama that is a symbol of the Ogaki festival, and I usually do not write complicated things, but the motif of the Ogaki festival was also tried small. It was fun to write a fine picture after a long absence.


Nanbu:  Ogaki is very wide, there are few passersby. Especially when I came to review it was night, so there were few people in particular. Therefore, it is a feeling that I was surprised by the surprise when I told you yesterday. There are many young people. It was very impressive that the posters illuminated by LEDs are displayed in front of the station and I thought that it would be nice to see a different expression from the normal day.

Patrycja Longawa (Polish) / Ayumi Kiryu (Japanese)


Moderator:  How did you feel after reviewing Ogaki festival world poster exhibition?


Nanbu: We selected 50 items from over 200 points in the form of selection. It was very interesting. I think that it is incredible for seeing works of such famous world designers and it’s wonderful for seeing the posters of the world’s top designers and general designers to fight with each other. It was a fierce battle. The poster I recommended was the work of Ayumi Kiryu. U. G. Professor recommended the work of Patrycja Longawa, whose motif was Karakuri doll. Ms. Kiryu has developed a graphic font called “Kicori font”, I think that this award-winning poster is a design that developed this font. I was impressed that Ms. Patrytja’s work was focusing on the Karakuri doll that even Japanese people would not able to notice the point.


Moderator: Today we are inviting Mr Kitano, Kinchoen’s owner, on behalf of the shopping district. I would like to ask Mr.Kitano for a word.

Mr. Kitano: The boulevard in front of the station where the poster is now displayed is usually a bicycle storage place. This time I was very grateful for doing “Ogaki Festival Mino Paper Poster AKARI Art Exhibition”. As soon as I started, it was said the people in the other towns wanted to do as well. Everyone stops taking pictures and goes by. I heard the voice that Ogaki became high level city when a man who is from Ogaki came back from Tokyo. I was pleased that these things were realized just before I thought it would be good to have an event.



Moderator: By this time, the Japan International Poster Museum has been active with the strong intention of “poster is street art”. Mr. Kato of art director, please give a word.


Mr.Kato: Posters are not originally in museum but I think that it should be in town. Poster is decorated in town, and it can be seen by many people that role of poster demonstrates I think that there has been a breakthrough that has never been before. We gathered the posters of the world, and aimed at a museum that can be used worldwide. Today I would like to thank you for listening to the story of a worldwide designer.


Moderator: Please tell us your thoughts on this project, Mr. Hori, director of OGAKI POSTER MUSEUM,JAPAN.

Mr. Hori: Twenty years ago when I was introduced a certain poster of Poland, I got acquainted with artists all over the world, and the world poster exhibition once every two years began. Currently we have about 10,000 works.  The English name of “Japan International Poster Museum” is OGAKI POSTER MUSEUM, JAPAN. Overseas, regardless of region and Tokyo, we name it as thought to be directly connected to the world from OGAKI. It has become a publicly recognized organization called certified NPO. However, the poster art is not well established among the citizens. So, after the Ogaki Festival was registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, it was decided that designers from around the world will design posters for the Ogaki festival. In addition, we decided to print on the same UNESCO intangible cultural heritage Mino paper with Mr. Kato’s idea. Then, it turned out that hurdles were quite high to have people visit the museum, so we decided to display posters in the city as we go there. In the end, I think Ogaki should be recognized as a city of posters. Today I am deeply moved by two people in the world coming here.



Moderator:  Finally I would like to move on to the question time.

Questioner: This time the Ogaki Festival was designated as the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage and became the world’s one, but how is the Ogaki festival being received in the world? Please tell us what you felt after being judged.


U. G. Sato: I think that this poster exhibition of  Ogaki will surely echo in the world. It is amazing that truly famous people send posters every year. I think that it is a strength that the posters can be put in the catalog. It is wonderful that the Ogaki festival will spread in visuals. I am even thinking that Ogaki will become the center of visuals.


Nanbu: I feel the accumulation of poster activities so far makes this result.  It is too luxurious to see works of such wonderful designers at once. Of course it is important to send out to the world, but I think that it would be better if I could send more to Japan. If you appeal to the Japanese press, I think that it is very fresh to have such an attempt at Ogaki.

Moderator: Thank you very much for your valuable talk !





U. G. Sato

Not only Japan but a world-recognized graphic designer. His work is Various. The illustration, corporate logos and packages, labels, stereoscopic works, picture books and so on. “Fukushima” has impressive performances to the society through design, surprising the world with graphic magic that instantaneously sends messages.


Toshiyasu Nanbu

Besides the Akita Prefectural Museum of Art, He is involved in the branding development of “Abenoharukasu”and graphic design in general. He is one person who has held work exhibitions expressing social themes positively, considering the independence of design, and has led the design world in Osaka. Promptly growing communication, that is, Besides the Akita Prefectural Museum of Art, I am involved in the branding development and graphic design in general at the Hall Art Museum of the Today’s story. One person who has held work exhibitions expressing social themes positively, considering the independence of design. He has a philosophy “the message conveyed by design will spread beyond national borders.”