|Died||February 8, 2015 (aged 85)|
|Alma mater||Tokyo University of the Arts|
|Organization||GK Design Group|
Born in Tokyo on September 11, 1929, Ekuan spent his youth in Hawaii. At the end of World War II, he moved to Hiroshima, where he witnessed the atomic bombing of the city, in which he lost his sister and his father, a Buddhist priest. He said the devastation motivated him to become a "creator of things". Later he attended Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (present-day Tokyo University of the Arts). In 1957, he founded GK Industrial Design Laboratory (ＧＫインダストリアルデザイン研究所). "GK" stood for "Group of Koike", as Koike was the name of an associate professor at the university.
In 1970, he became president of the Japan Industrial Designers' Association and five years later he was elected as president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
Ekuan died in the hospital in Tokyo on February 8, 2015, at the age of 85.
Products that Ekuan oversaw the design of included the following.
- 253 series Narita Express train, 1991
- E3 Series Shinkansen Komachi train, 1997
- E259 series Narita Express train, 2009
- E233 series
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government logo, 1989
- Ministop convenience store logo
- Japan Racing Association logo
Honors and awards
- 1979: Colin King Grand Prix - International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
- 1995: Sir Misha Black Medal
- 1997: Ordre des Arts et des Lettres - French Minister of Culture
- 2000: Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette
- 2003: Lucky Strike Designer Award - Raymond Loewy Foundation
- 2004: Commander in the Order of the Lion of Finland
- 2014: Compasso d'Oro for Lifetime Achievement - Associazione per il Disegno Industriale
- Kenji Ekuan (1 March 1998). The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox. Diane Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7567-7620-6.
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- 工業デザインの第一人者 栄久庵憲司さん死去 [First industrial designer Kenji Ekuan dies]. NHK News Web (in Japanese). Japan: NHK. 2015-02-09. Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
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- Angus Montgomery (2015-02-10). "Kenji Ekuan, designer of bullet trains and soy sauce bottle, dies aged 85". Design Week. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "2003 Lucky Strike Designer Award - Kenji ekuan". Raymond Loewy Foundation. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Kenji Ekuan - Chairman, GK Design Group". Hong Kong Design Centre. Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
- "Kenji Ekuan, designer of the classic soy sauce dispenser, dead at age 85". Japan Times. 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-02-11.