There are two sides to contemporary Japanese culture. An elegance that has transcended through the purist, rigorous and excessive characteristics of traditional Japanese culture; and secondly the contemporary looseness and colour ‘pops’ that challenges the first. This is prominently felt through high-end contemporary fashion and epitomized in Japanese fashion designers such as Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcon. It is this interest into the collision of contemporary popular Japanese culture that lead to the discovery of The Japanese love industry. An industry that is so much fun it is contributing to the country being the largest declining population in the world. The young and fashionable of the Japanese population are interested in nights out, temporary companionship and karaoke. It is places such as snack bars where one will indulge in drinks, light food and conversation. This cultural que triggers the early story of the character Mr Miyagi. Miyagi was born on the Japanese Island of Okinawa where he and his best friend Sato were taught Karate. It was a quarrel between Sato and Miyagi about a mutual love interest in a girl named Yukie. Yukie split the friendship between the pair and forced Miyagi to leave the island. Now years later, the prominent Mr. Miyagi character unveils his very beautiful, sophisticated and fashionable mistress.
Experiences are best when multi-sensory; from when you are greeted once entering from Chapel Street, vibrant street signage draws attention down the Japanese city inspired passage to the rear of the venue. As one passes the steamy kitchen wafting scents into the laneway and activating the senses of what’s ahead. The interior finishes palate gently shifts from the darker and more masculine restaurant to become refined to solid natural surfaces. Atmospheric custom brass lighting unveils Yukie’s Snack and Cocktail bar. An interior that represents an amalgamation of the traditional Japanese minimalistic building techniques with contemporary color ‘pops’. The space has used consistent radial and tubular details from the stone cladding on the bar to the insitu poured concrete benches and the custom designed timber furniture. It is these details that represent the femininity of the mistress through the robust, natural and neutral traditional Japanese materials.
The rendered and polished concrete, timber and natural stone solidify the venue’s permanence and sit within a background that visually extends through to Artist Lane. The custom designed furniture for this venue alone fills the space emphasizing the importance on enhancing the customer’s sensory touch points and holistic experience. The venue plays a narrative that customers are able to experience; conveyed through materiality, form and controlled sensory touch points, the play between Mr Miyagi and his Mistress Yukie is exciting and not easily forgotten.