Shiro Kuramata (29 November 1934 – 1 February 1991) is one of Japan's most important designers of the 20th century. Kuramata was mainly known for his use of industrial materials such as wire steel mesh and lucite to create architectural interiors and furniture. Revolutionary pieces such as the "How High the Moon" chair (1986) reflect the emerging dynamism and maturing creativity of postwar Japan, or his Ikebana, lead cristal free hand blown vase, realized by the Vilca[disambiguation needed] from Colle Valdelsa (Siena) Italy, a unique example of fusion, between oriental and occidental cultures.
In 1990 the French government awarded Kuramata the distinguished Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his outstanding contribution to art and design.
His "Miss Blanche" chair was sold at Christie's in London for GBP 46,000.00 (USD 86,000.00) in October 1997, lot 108. A "How High the Moon" two seater was sold for GBP 12,650.00 (USD 24,000.00) at Bonhams London in May 1998. This ranks Kuramata amongst the most desirable of artists/designers of the 20th century.