Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle Designer Dies

Kenju Ekuan designed Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.
Kenji Ekuan on June 3, 2004.  Photo: AFP/ JIJI PRESS.

Kenji Ekuan on June 3, 2004.
Photo: AFP/ JIJI PRESS.

Japanese industrial designer Kenji Ekuan, the man who designed the internationally popular soy sauce dispenser bottle, has died, his company, GK Design Group, has said.

Ekuan, who was 85 at the time of his death, debuted his iconic upside-down funnel shaped bottle with red cap in Japan in 1961. Shortly after the design became the visual icon for soy sauce as Japanese cuisine became wildly popular abroad. Ekuan’s design was reportedly inspired by his mother pouring soy sauce from a large half-gallon container to a tabletop dispenser.

Among Ekuan’s other accomplishments are designing Yamaha’s VMAX motorcycles, the Narita Express train that shuttles passengers to and from Tokyo’s airport, and the bullet train connecting Tokyo and northern Japan.

The designer, who is also a Buddhist monk, was a former president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design and an officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Kenju Ekuan designed Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.

Kenji Ekuan designed the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle.


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