Kengo Kuma designs Eiko Kadono museum, with recreation of the town in Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service

The renowned Japanese architect has revealed renders for a Tokyo museum dedicated to the author, which shows a white flower-shaped building with a strawberry-coloured interior.

23 November 2020


Studio Ghibli’s beloved 1989 film adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was based on an original story by author Eiko Kadono – an acclaimed and prolific writer of over 200 children’s books. Now the author and creator of the Kiki series is being honoured with her own museum in Tokyo, designed by the equally renowned Kengo Kuma, wherein the town in the film is being recreated. Renders of the Eiko Kadono Museum of Children’s Literature in Edogawa Ward – where Kadono lived until her early 20s – revealed on Kuma’s Instagram account show a white flower-shaped building with a strawberry-coloured interior, apparently Kadono’s favourite tone, often seen on her choice of clothes and glasses.

The museum is scheduled to open in July 2023, and includes plans for a recreation of Koriko, the fictional town where witch-in-training Kiki starts her delivery business, with the townscape decorated on the walls using projection mapping. There will also be a reading area stocked with Kadono’s back catalogue of books, and a room modelled on her studio – much like one of the rooms in Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.

Now 85-years-old, Kadono was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award in 2018, only the third Japanese children’s writer to be given the prize. Her original Kiki novel was a bestseller before the film, and was followed up with five additions to the series. She’s also known for books Little Ghosts, There, Here and Where and Brazil and My Friend Luizinho, and for translating western titles like Kipper and Miffy for Japanese audiences.

The author said in a statement that she wanted visitors to “make memories” in the new museum. “Memories can give us energy as we live through our lives. I thought that children nowadays are used to being given things and have less opportunities to find things on their own and enjoy them. I hope they read books here and discover the joy of reading and the amplitude of words.”

Kuma added on his design that “flowers warm people’s hearts” and that he “thought the roofs would look great on this hill”.

GalleryKengo Kuma: Eiko Kadono Museum of Children’s Literature (© Kengo Kuma, 2020)

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Kengo Kuma: Eiko Kadono Museum of Children’s Literature (© Kengo Kuma, 2020)

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Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.

Jenny is currently on maternity leave.

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