KONNICHIWA!

A newsletter from Oki Sato, general producer.
News on the Japan Pavilion’s progress, and his thoughts for the day.

New

Photo of the home of Oki Sato
Photo of clothes racks

This and That

Same White Shirt, Same Black Pants, and Jacket.

This simple wardrobe choice has spared me the daily dilemma of what to wear each morning for almost two decades. This habit not only minimizes the burden on my brain but also allocates all my mental space to the realm of design.
Garments follow a systematic routine, always starting from the left and replenished on the right after a trip to the dry cleaners. This meticulous cycle ensures even wear and tear, maintaining the longevity of my wardrobe. In this manner, my clothes gracefully follow a cycle.

Ugh, thanks to the Japan Pavilion, I find myself unexpectedly pondering the nuances of seemingly insignificant cycles around me...

Photo of a model being built
Photo showing how a model is stored
Photo of a model being built

This and That

Caring About the Details.

In our quest for perfection, drawings and computer renders alone don’t always suffice. That’s why we rely on spatial models, meticulously examining every detail.
Our process is a constant cycle―create a model, test its limits, refine it, then start anew. This iterative journey is both methodical and crucial. With each reincarnation of the model, the vision of the Japan Pavilion crystallizes. The resolution of our gaze upon the model progressively sharpens, revealing new challenges at every turn.
Yet, amidst this pursuit, the clock relentlessly ticks away. There’s so much left to do, and time is a fleeting companion... *sweats*

Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion

This and That

Progress, Day by Day.

Regular meetings, involving 20 to 30 participants, are conducted several times a month, each focusing on diverse themes such as architecture, operations, exhibitions, virtual experiences, biogas plants, uniforms, and public relations. On a separate occasion, Mr. Irobe, Mr. Watanabe, and I engaged in a lengthy discussion while examining a model.
The discourse deviated from the usual “linear” approach of addressing matters in terms of cost-effectiveness, safety, and reliability. Instead, it took on a more spontaneous, “curvilinear” form, with a free exchange of opinions centered around making the exhibition more enjoyable, understandable, and exciting.
I find these moments particularly enjoyable. As enjoyable as they are, another regular meeting awaits us in just a few days... *sweats*

Cover image from the first issue of the Monthly JP Pavilion

Thoughts

“Monthly JP pavilion,”
Has Been Published.

Finally, “Monthly JP pavilion,” has been published. Well, I guess for you, the term “finally” might not pack the same punch, right?
As you flip through the pages of our monthly magazine, you’ll get a pretty solid sense of what the Japan Pavilion is all about—that’s the vibe we’re aiming for. So kick back, relax, and dive in without any grand expectations.
Huge shoutout to everyone who pitched in and lent a hand, despite all the curveballs life threw our way! With just one year left, let’s keep pushing forward and make the Japan Pavilion a spot where folks can look back and think, “Hey, I’m glad I was part of that whole Japan Pavilion thing” in, oh, let’s say about a decade from now.

Photo of a full-scale mock-up of the Japan Pavilion

This and That

Full-Scale Mockups

Full-scale mockups crafted from genuine materials are meticulously examined and discussed with the architectural team, covering colors, finishes, and other intricate details.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone at Nikken Sekkei, handling the design, and Shimizu Corporation, leading the construction!
Working alongside these dedicated individuals brings me immense joy, even though we still have a long journey ahead!

Exhibition

Whoosh...

Whoosh...

“What is the length on the tail of the light?”
“It’s 600mm!”
“Could you try stretching it to 700mm?”
“Sure. Incoming 700mm!”

(Wow! It’s really now stretched by 100mm...!)

“Can you soften the outline around the head of the light more?”
“Absolutely. Softer outline incoming!”

(It’s significantly softer now!)

“Can you slow down the movement of the light midway, more syrupy?”
“Syrupy?”
“Yeah, syrupy.”
(...oh?)

Endless adjustments to the shape and movement of the light continue. I truly admire the dedication of the staff who toiled tirelessly, working day and night to prepare for today’s testing. Thank you very much!

Photo showing lighting fixtures being selected for use in the exhibition rooms

Exhibition

Quest for the Perfect Lighting Fixtures.

Today, we’re on a quest for the perfect lighting fixtures to make our exhibition rooms pop in the Japan Pavilion. The specific criteria, including size, brightness, warmth, and the softness of light contours, are being meticulously determined for each space.
We find ourselves pondering over two distinct lighting scenarios: Is it preferable to have strong light illuminating a dark-colored wall, or would a subtler glow on a light-colored wall be more fitting?
Additionally, we contemplate the warmth factor. Is it more inviting to have warm-colored light grace a cold-colored wall, or does the juxtaposition of cold-colored light against a warm-colored wall create a more harmonious ambiance?

As I delve into these considerations, contemplating the interplay of light and space, my thoughts gradually become as elusive as the mist settling over a tranquil landscape.

Photo of Oki Sato feeling the cold at a construction site

Architecture

The Site and Mockups Are Impressive and All, But...

Brrr, it’s chilly!
Too cold!!!

Photo of the Grand Roof (Ring), the symbol of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan, as seen from the construction site of the Japan Pavilion

Architecture

“Grand Roof (Ring)”

Directly in front of the Japan Pavilion stands the iconic symbol of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai – the “Grand Roof (Ring)”! Its sheer enormity is awe-inspiring! Above all, it’s intensely intimidating!
I can’t shake off the imagery of “Wall Maria” from a certain beloved manga. Unfortunately, our Japan Pavilion finds itself positioned on the exterior of this colossal ring, almost like a predestined target for the titans.

Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion
Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion
Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion

This and That

Stepping into a Cab at Shin-Osaka Station...

“Please take me to the Expo Osaka site on Yumeshima.”
“What?”
“To the Expo site, please.”
“Expo?”
“Yes.”
“The Expo isn’t open yet.”
“Yes, I know that, but I need to go.”
“I’m saying the Expo hasn’t started yet.”

Conversely, if the Expo had already commenced, we’d be in a bind. After three rounds of this exchange, I finally moved forward and reached the site. The current view reveals a vague outline of the Japan Pavilion, or maybe not.
It’s hard to articulate, but the foundation seems oddly charming. This might be the first time in my life that I’ve found a foundation to be cute. Perhaps I’m feeling a bit fatigued these days...

Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion
Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion
Photo showing the construction site of the Japan Pavilion

This and That

Stepping into a Cab at Shin-Osaka Station...

“Please take me to the Expo Osaka site on Yumeshima.”
“What?”
“To the Expo site, please.”
“Expo?”
“Yes.”
“The Expo isn’t open yet.”
“Yes, I know that, but I need to go.”
“I’m saying the Expo hasn’t started yet.”

Conversely, if the Expo had already commenced, we’d be in a bind. After three rounds of this exchange, I finally moved forward and reached the site. The current view reveals a vague outline of the Japan Pavilion, or maybe not.
It’s hard to articulate, but the foundation seems oddly charming. This might be the first time in my life that I’ve found a foundation to be cute. Perhaps I’m feeling a bit fatigued these days...

Photo of the Grand Roof (Ring), the symbol of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan, as seen from the construction site of the Japan Pavilion

Architecture

“Grand Roof (Ring)”

Directly in front of the Japan Pavilion stands the iconic symbol of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai – the “Grand Roof (Ring)”! Its sheer enormity is awe-inspiring! Above all, it’s intensely intimidating!
I can’t shake off the imagery of “Wall Maria” from a certain beloved manga. Unfortunately, our Japan Pavilion finds itself positioned on the exterior of this colossal ring, almost like a predestined target for the titans.

Photo of Oki Sato feeling the cold at a construction site

Architecture

The Site and Mockups Are Impressive and All, But...

Brrr, it’s chilly!
Too cold!!!

Photo showing lighting fixtures being selected for use in the exhibition rooms

Exhibition

Quest for the Perfect Lighting Fixtures.

Today, we’re on a quest for the perfect lighting fixtures to make our exhibition rooms pop in the Japan Pavilion. The specific criteria, including size, brightness, warmth, and the softness of light contours, are being meticulously determined for each space.
We find ourselves pondering over two distinct lighting scenarios: Is it preferable to have strong light illuminating a dark-colored wall, or would a subtler glow on a light-colored wall be more fitting?
Additionally, we contemplate the warmth factor. Is it more inviting to have warm-colored light grace a cold-colored wall, or does the juxtaposition of cold-colored light against a warm-colored wall create a more harmonious ambiance?

As I delve into these considerations, contemplating the interplay of light and space, my thoughts gradually become as elusive as the mist settling over a tranquil landscape.

Exhibition

Whoosh...

Whoosh...

“What is the length on the tail of the light?”
“It’s 600mm!”
“Could you try stretching it to 700mm?”
“Sure. Incoming 700mm!”

(Wow! It’s really now stretched by 100mm...!)

“Can you soften the outline around the head of the light more?”
“Absolutely. Softer outline incoming!”

(It’s significantly softer now!)

“Can you slow down the movement of the light midway, more syrupy?”
“Syrupy?”
“Yeah, syrupy.”
(...oh?)

Endless adjustments to the shape and movement of the light continue. I truly admire the dedication of the staff who toiled tirelessly, working day and night to prepare for today’s testing. Thank you very much!

Photo of a full-scale mock-up of the Japan Pavilion

This and That

Full-Scale Mockups

Full-scale mockups crafted from genuine materials are meticulously examined and discussed with the architectural team, covering colors, finishes, and other intricate details.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone at Nikken Sekkei, handling the design, and Shimizu Corporation, leading the construction!
Working alongside these dedicated individuals brings me immense joy, even though we still have a long journey ahead!

Cover image from the first issue of the Monthly JP Pavilion

Thoughts

“Monthly JP pavilion,”
Has Been Published.

Finally, “Monthly JP pavilion,” has been published. Well, I guess for you, the term “finally” might not pack the same punch, right?
As you flip through the pages of our monthly magazine, you’ll get a pretty solid sense of what the Japan Pavilion is all about—that’s the vibe we’re aiming for. So kick back, relax, and dive in without any grand expectations.
Huge shoutout to everyone who pitched in and lent a hand, despite all the curveballs life threw our way! With just one year left, let’s keep pushing forward and make the Japan Pavilion a spot where folks can look back and think, “Hey, I’m glad I was part of that whole Japan Pavilion thing” in, oh, let’s say about a decade from now.

Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion
Photo capturing a discussion around a model of the pavilion

This and That

Progress, Day by Day.

Regular meetings, involving 20 to 30 participants, are conducted several times a month, each focusing on diverse themes such as architecture, operations, exhibitions, virtual experiences, biogas plants, uniforms, and public relations. On a separate occasion, Mr. Irobe, Mr. Watanabe, and I engaged in a lengthy discussion while examining a model.
The discourse deviated from the usual “linear” approach of addressing matters in terms of cost-effectiveness, safety, and reliability. Instead, it took on a more spontaneous, “curvilinear” form, with a free exchange of opinions centered around making the exhibition more enjoyable, understandable, and exciting.
I find these moments particularly enjoyable. As enjoyable as they are, another regular meeting awaits us in just a few days... *sweats*

Photo of a model being built
Photo showing how a model is stored
Photo of a model being built

This and That

Caring About the Details.

In our quest for perfection, drawings and computer renders alone don’t always suffice. That’s why we rely on spatial models, meticulously examining every detail.
Our process is a constant cycle―create a model, test its limits, refine it, then start anew. This iterative journey is both methodical and crucial. With each reincarnation of the model, the vision of the Japan Pavilion crystallizes. The resolution of our gaze upon the model progressively sharpens, revealing new challenges at every turn.
Yet, amidst this pursuit, the clock relentlessly ticks away. There’s so much left to do, and time is a fleeting companion... *sweats*

New

Photo of the home of Oki Sato
Photo of clothes racks

This and That

Same White Shirt, Same Black Pants, and Jacket.

This simple wardrobe choice has spared me the daily dilemma of what to wear each morning for almost two decades. This habit not only minimizes the burden on my brain but also allocates all my mental space to the realm of design.
Garments follow a systematic routine, always starting from the left and replenished on the right after a trip to the dry cleaners. This meticulous cycle ensures even wear and tear, maintaining the longevity of my wardrobe. In this manner, my clothes gracefully follow a cycle.

Ugh, thanks to the Japan Pavilion, I find myself unexpectedly pondering the nuances of seemingly insignificant cycles around me...