Hanging Out With Nathan Kunigami,
The founder of Kokuga Flower Studio.
It all started after a trip to Japan where he had his first contact with Ikebana - an ancient art known for composing delicate, harmonious arrangements, full of symbolism. Ikebana means "live flowers" or "arrangement of flowers". The contact with flowers transformed Nathan Kunigami's understanding of the world and that's how Kokuga Flower Studio was born. A different space from the traditional flower shops in Lisbon where the beautiful, sophisticated and simple go hand in hand.
Get to know him.
Can you tell us your story so far?
I was born and raised in Rio to a Brazilian mom and Japanese dad. Until 2018 I used to work in corporate communications for luxury brands, which was always a career goal for me. But after 8 years something changed and I realised I didn’t really want to have a corporate career anymore. At the same time, my partner was living in the US and we both wanted to be in the same city. Lisbon came up in a conversation and we came to visit for the first time in 2017. We moved one year later.
Besides changing countries I also decided to change careers. So I in January 2019 I officially started Kokuga Flower Studio in Lisbon.
Next steps for you?
I’m looking for a studio/showroom space where I can work from. It’s a big step for Kokuga, since I’ve always worked from home.
Best spot in Portugal?
There are so many… But I would say beaches. I love the ones in Arrábida.
What does style means to you?
Something that gives you confidence to be yourself.
What motivated you to get started with Kokuga Flower Studio?
It was a wake-up call on how I wanted to live my life. I could stay where I was (which was very safe, comfortable and actually nice too) or turn my life upside down and try something completely new (work wise, love wise, pretty much everything). But in a way it all started with my first trip to Japan in 2017 and taking this Ikebana private class with a local artist.
What is the band / music style / music artist that inspire you?
I can be very eclectic when it comes to music. Currently I’ve been listening Renaissance (from Beyonce) non-stop. But two artists that I just love are Sevdaliza and Benjamin Clementine.
Photography by João Hasselberg.
The Kokuga Flower Studio.