Industrial designer Kenji Ekuan, who crafted a soy sauce dispenser now ubiquitous in Japan and around the world, is seen in a file photo. Photo by Kyodo
TOKYO - Industrial designer Kenji Ekuan, who crafted a soy sauce dispenser now ubiquitous in Japan and around the world, died of a heart rhythm disorder at a Tokyo hospital early Sunday morning, his office said Monday. He was 85.
Ekuan in 1957 founded GK Industrial Design Associates, which later became GK Design Group, and in 1961 designed a soy sauce dispenser for Kikkoman Corp. that found enduring success worldwide.
The Tokyo native was also behind the distinctive shape of the "Komachi" high-speed trains running on the Akita Shinkansen Line, and the Narita Express connecting Narita airport with Tokyo. He also designed motorcycles for Yamaha Motor Co.
Ekuan worked on several expositions, serving as co-general producer for the World Design Exposition 1989 held in Nagoya.
In 1979 Ekuan was awarded the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design's Colin King Grand Prix. The Japanese government honored him with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in 2000.