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JUN ASHIDA

Born in Kyoto in 1930. In 1960, Jun Ashida was appointed Consulting Designer at Takashimaya. Jun Ashida served as exclusive designer to H.I.H Crown Princess Michiko (now Empress Michiko) between 1966 and 1976. With the support of members of the Imperial Family, the international diplomatic corps, and political and economic leaders, she has over the years earned international goodwill. Honours: Purple Ribbon Medal (Japan), Ufficiale dell?Prdine al Merito (Italy), Insignia of Officer of the National Order of Merit (France). Designer of team gear for the Japanese team at the Hiroshima Asian Games (1994) and the Atlanta Olympic Games (1996). Designer of uniforms for the Imperial Hotel, the Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., the Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., and other leading corporations.

Jun Ashida's statement on Andersen:
"Once when their Papa was abroad I read one of my favourite stories, "The Little Match-Seller", to my 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters before they went to sleep. I gestured enthusiastically, and when I reached the end I stood there between the beds with a painful backache. I relived these memories recently when I read the same story, this time to my 10-year-old granddaughter and 5-year-old grandson. Compared with my daughters, my two grandchildren seem more like tiny aliens from outer space than innocent children. Nevertheless, tears came brimming to their eyes as they listened with sorrow to the story of the little girl selling matches, so romantically narrated by Andersen. No matter how much times change, Andersen's stories will continue to shine like brilliant jewels."