Fresh Ink

Shinzi Katoh - In Person: Part 2

Feb 15, 2009

We were ushered in quickly, asked to change into slippers, and shown into a room to wait. Garo and I sat at a Western style table in the center of the room. we took two chairs on the right side and left the two chairs across us empty. Once we settled a bit, I took a good look around. All along the walls were wooden display cases with glass tops. Inside them were different types of antique Western china. Above them were framed paintings and drawings all by Shinzi Katoh. The art work was modern or more traditional. nothing was done in the Katoh style we are familiar with. Everything in the room showed that there are many more sides to this designer than we know.

About five minutes must have gone by, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, the door opened and a young lady walked in. This was Yumi san with whom I'd been talking to via email. She came in with binders and papers and folders and once she sat down, the table was half covered with paper. About fifteen minutes later the door opened and Katoh san himself came in.

Shinzi Katoh is a petit but strongly built man. His black hair was tied back into a pony tail and he was dressed in black. We bowed and said the traditional Japanese greetings. He them broke out into a huge smile, shook our hands, and said "Welcome." That first gesture of warmth set the tone for the entire meeting. He was full of smiles, ideas, energy, and kindness.

We saw many things that are yet to be released and some new characters he's just designed. His staff brought in prototypes for us to comment on and took notes on our suggestions...what an honor!! We got a sneak peak of Christmas 2009 and received samples for our site.

Five hours later and after having seen too many goodies to make mention of, the meeting was over. We all parted having made new friends - something much more precious than business partners. But have no fear, the Shinzi Katoh cards and stationary will be plentiful on our site in this coming year!

Standing behind Shinzi Katoh with
a table full of wonderful stuff!