• Japan In Focus

Ibaraki Traditional Lantern Designed Chosen to Promote G7 Mito Meeting

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shion Uchida stands next to a poster with her design of a Suifu Chochin lantern at the Ibaraki prefectural government office in Mito on July 19.

MITO — A traditional lantern craft from Ibaraki Prefecture will play a role in promoting the Group of Seven Interior and Security Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Mito in December.

A motif of a Suifu Chochin lantern, which was selected as the key visual design for promotion of the meeting, will be used on posters and banners displayed in the prefecture.

The design was created by Shion Uchida, 20, a third-year student at Bunka Designer Gakuin, a vocational school in Mito. Twenty-eight students spent about a month working on a design as part of their class assignment. Uchida’s work was chosen after a selection process within the school and at a meeting of the ministerial meeting’s promotion council.

Uchida focused on Suifu lanterns she saw at Mito Station, which she regularly used on her way to school. She said she wanted to express the “safety” theme of the meeting, with the idea of “illuminating hidden crimes with the light of lanterns.” The lantern is decorated with the Art Tower Mito, a symbol of the city, and ume plum blossoms.

The design was unveiled at the prefectural government office on July 19.

“It has an impact. I’m sure that the ministers and staff from various countries will take notice,” Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa said.

Uchida said, “I hope this will create a chance for not only visitors, but also residents of Mito to see how good the city is.”