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Shared by friends and collaborators of Japan House London, 'Words & Thoughts' is a collection of words, characters or phrases in Japanese which are particularly poignant to them or for our time.

Interior designer Katayama Masamichi is Founder and Director of interior design agency Wonderwall and Professor at the Department of Scenography, Space and Fashion Design at Musashino Art University.

He shares his thoughts on: 不安 ('fu an': anxiety)

“'Anxiety' is worrying thoughts, or feelings of fear. I've been a designer for a long time, with plenty of ups and downs. I've had to think hard and come up with new ideas to help me overcome any periods of uncertainty. But at one point, it suddenly hit me: perhaps anxiety might in fact be almost like a friend, offering inspiration. I can't help feeling that the current disastrous coronavirus situation might itself serve as a stimulus for new ways of thinking to emerge. I want to take up the challenge of doing something new, so that later, when we look back, I can consider this period of anxiety as having been a friend, who shook me up so that I could enjoy a better future. Perhaps the whole history of evolution is, in fact, a series of such happenings.“

“ 不安 ” とは心配に思ったり、恐怖を感じたりすることです。僕はこれまで紆余曲折なデザイナー人生の中、不安な状況を乗り越える為に 、考えを巡らせ新しいアイデアを生み出してきたように思います。そしてふと気づくと不安 は刺激を与えてくれる友達のような存在なのでは?と思うようになったのです。このコロナ禍の状況は新しい概念が生まれるきっかけになるような気がしてなりません。後にこの状況を振り返った時、あの不安だった出来事は、より良い今があるための友達の揺さぶりだったんだと思えるように、新しい事にチャレンジしたいです。進化の歴史って、こういう事の連続なんじゃないでしょうか?