Vol. 115 Individualist “Chptr 5 and Vrs 2”

Following on interview with Bob Hattori on Vol. 114 Individualist “Chptr 5 and Vrs 1”.

What is art? Since I have been a huge fan of art itself, without a doubt that I have seen so many art pieces of every genre that I could possibly think of. Especially street art, this is nothing but a candy for the eyes for me that I could eat them all day. However, as it essentially implies,  Art from the street does not always have a positive images attached to it. What would you think if you see street art on the wall?!

We also talked about interest that is on my table for a long time, collectivism versus individualism. I would not say us versus them type of dispute. I just would like to raise awareness of ourselves about these conversation below. Please let me know what you think if you have to say something. 





“Norm and sameness. We are too overwhelmed with these ideas that we think we should follow the path that majority of us pursue.”





IO) 日本はどんな場所か。日本人とは誰であり何か?(あなたの目線、もしくはブランドとして)

Bobさん) 日本は美しい国。まだまだ自然が沢山あり、誇るべき文化も沢山あると思います。

日本人は本質的には勤勉、真面目で優しい民族だと思います。グローバルよりもローカルでコミュニティを形成するのが上手で、仲間意識も強い。しかし、ここ最近は目先の利益に捉われ易く、昔に学ぶ事を怠っていると感じますね 。



IO) What does Japan, being Japanese mean to you? How do you think it has impacted your life and your success?

Bob-san) Japan is a beautiful country. There are lots of natures that surround us and cultures that we should be pound of.

Essentially, Japanese are hardworking, earnest, and kind nation.

We are good at building local community rather than global one. We also have a strong fellowship. However, I believe that we recently tend to pursue quick profits and also we are negligent in considering what we can learn from the past.

Rather than a brand, as a “Mojikaki” that basically when it comes to creating a wall painting, Japan is hard to deal with. I am pretty sure that a lot of people think that wall painting (especially lettering) is considered to be just a doodle, not really an art.


IO) 壁画イコール落書きといったイメージはなぜ持たれるのでしょうか?

Bobさん) 日本人って、全てを綺麗に保とうとするところがありますね。あと、自分の所有物に対しての執着が強いというか。行政はクレームに弱いので、たった1人でも文句を言う人が現れると規制に乗り出しますしね。





IO) How come they have a preconceived notion that wall painting is thought to be a doodle that should be banned?

Bob-san) Japanese people have a tendency of keeping everything neat and right on a track. Also, They tend to cling onto their own belongings. Let’s say if a person would claim that there is a scribble on what one owns, then the government would start to embark a regulation because of the vulnerability toward complaint from even one individual person.

I have a certain case scenario of wall painting that illustration and pictorial art would be the ones to be recognized as an art. (ONLY IF permitted from one that owns a WALL)

Though I actually do not know as much if this is true that, for example in Shibuya or Harajuku, we might implicitly acknowledge some doodles that is literally written on the wall out there somewhere is just as same as graffiti that should be banned. I would like to get rid of that notion so that is one of the reasons why I write my own work on the wall.


Bob Hattori 8


IO) 日本や日本人の良いところと悪いところ。

Bobさん) 何でも周りに流されている感じが嫌だなぁと思います。右向け右で教育を受け、仕事をしている。それに疑問を抱いたとしても特に何をするでもなく、みんな同じだからとか常識だからといった考えに捉われ過ぎでしまっている気がします。


IO) What do you think are the positive and negative points about being Japanese?

Bob-san) I do not like the fact that Japanese people are definitely overwhelmed by the surrounding circumstances. Discipline and order are ruling our society too much to the point where work and education is nothing but just a path that it feels mandatory to participate. Even if you have a doubt about that, you almost have no right to change yourself based on these principles such as norm and sameness. We are too overwhelmed with these ideas that you should follow the path that majority of us pursue.


IO) 「赤信号みんなで渡れば怖く無い」といった言葉にあるように日本人の性質は個より集団を重んじます。どうすれば変わるとお考えですか?

Bobさん) 自分自身の考えをしっかり持つことですね。そのためには小さい頃から親が子供に何を教えられるか、が重要だと思います。親が子供に何かを教える為には、親がちゃんと子供にコミットしていかないといけませんね。父親と母親の両者とも自分の考えをしっかり持って、その親の考えすら間違っている可能性がある事をちゃんと子供に伝えていく。



IO) 「There is safety in numbers」. This is one of the saying that has been pretty well known for us ( I do not think it is a proverbs but whatever.) Japanese people have a tendency to value collectivism over individualism. Do you need to change it? Or who would you change that?

Bob-san) Having your own opinion and following the beat of your own drum is one way to deal with this phenomena. In order to do so, it is important for parents to teach their children about them when they are young. Parents also need to make positive commitment of parenting to their own children. Both father and mother as parents need to share their feelings and thoughts with their children and also let them know that these feelings and thoughts from their parents might possibly be wrong.

These cumulated beliefs for children would form a frame of their mind as each individual. Children do not necessarily need to value collectivism, yet they do not need to prioritize a state of individualism neither. Balancing these two mindsets form a balanced frame of their mind. (I wish I could raise my kids like this but hard to do that I assume.)


Bob Hattori 9


IO) 日本人として西洋の文化(アメリカ、フランス、イタリア等)への憧れや尊敬、または日本の文化に対する憧れや尊敬は感じていますか?

Bobさん) 憧れや尊敬はありませんが、アートが生まれやすい環境のある国はいいなぁと思います。とはいえ、ストリートのアートは抑圧や貧困などマイナスな社会から生まれてくることも多いので、一概にいいなぁとも言えないですね。


IO) As a Japanese/Japanese descendants, for you have any ambition, envy, and aspirations against western (U.S. for example) or Japanese cultures? How do you feel about Western/Japanese culture, do you think it has had an impact on your work?

Bob-san) In some western countries, I think that art can be born and created pretty easily in a way compared with in Japan. Admitting that street art would sometimes be born from societal rebellion or negative aspects such as freedom from oppression and deprivation. Considering these facts, it is not always necessarily good for these countries though.


IO) 日本のストリートアートに関してはどうお考えですか?

Bobさん) うーん。まぁ、偉そうにお答え出来るほど日本のストリートアートの事を知らないのですが。



IO) What do you think about street art in Japan?

Hmmm. I am not even entitled to shoot off my mouth about street art in Japan…

Street art in Japan is either good or bad ways from an aesthetic viewpoint. I do not have a feeling of street art in Japan as in real street-oriented, right from the hood type of feelings. I would also call these feelings pitch black and shady. Well, there are still so many Japanese street artist out there so this is not necessarily a true as well.


IO) 海外進出はお考えですか?

Bobさん) 呼んで頂ければぜひとも書きに行きたいですね。


IO) Have you ever thought of expanding your art abroad?

Bob-san) I would love to go abroad and create my own artwork overseas.




IO) 日本のおかしなところ。

Bobさん) なぜそんなに一生懸命仕事するのかなぁって思うことはあります。仕事以外の時は何をしているのだろう?とも思いますね。


IO) Is there anything you find strange about Japan as a Japanese?

Bob-san) How come Japan has so many workaholic people? I wonder what they do when they are off from work.


IO) クリエイティブの定義 とはなんでしょうか?.

Bobさん) クリエイティブって何?ということであれば、



IO) How would you define creativity?

Bob-san) When it comes to think “ What is creative?” then, I would say “everyday life”


IO) 具体的に例を挙げてお願いします。

Bobさん) 文字通り、生活全てですね。朝起きて、布団をどう跳ね上げるのか。目が覚めやすい目覚まし時計の置き場所はどこか。朝ごはんは何を作るのか、そしてどうお皿に盛るのか。どの服を着るか。どの靴を履くか。今日はどの曲を聴きながら出かけるかなど。



IO) Care to elaborate?

Bob-san) Literally everything in our daily life. You wake up in the morning and make your bed. These processes where you should place your alarm clock in order to wake you up good, what to eat for breakfast, how to put your breakfast on each plate, what to wear for your outfit, what type of music do you listen to when you go out etc…

Our daily life can be a series of creative processes when it comes down to it.


IO) 人生とは一言/ 一文で何ですか?

Bobさん) 楽しみ育むもの。


IO) How would you define life in one sentence?

Bob-san) Life is to nurture and to have fun.


Bob Hattori 10


IO) 同業者と差別化を図る方法、秘策。

Bobさん) 特には無いですが、毎日自分自身の文字の形を探しています。


IO) Do you have any tips for differentiating yourself from competitors?

Bob-san) Not in particular but I am always down to look for my own shape of lettering.


IO) 注目している人、ものは?

GROGMontana ColorsMOLOTOW美篶堂の手製本、モンゴル書道、チベット書道,、神代文字。

CLYPTIC, El Seed, Luca Barcellona, Usugrow, Khadiga El-Ghawas, Inkman, Tashi Mannox ほかいっぱいですね。


IO) Something that you are currently into? What is a current hobby or interest of yours?

GROGMontana ColorsMOLOTOW, Craft book from Misuzudo bindery, Mongolian and Tibetan calligraphy, Ancient Japanese character called Jindai moji.

CLYPTIC, El Seed, Luca Barcellona, Usugrow, Khadiga El-Ghawas, Inkman, Tashi Mannox and many more.


Recently, he participated in one of the biggest design festival called Design Festa. Here is time lapse of his work through two days. Please have a look down below. 



My life is getting redundant by doing same thing all over again so I need to be creative in doing every step that I make to enjoy being creative.



Bob Hattori a.k.a Bob the “Mojikaki” 


Copyright of Pictures (C) Bob Hattori All Rights Reserved.


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