The industrial designer whose works ranged from a bullet train to the red-capped Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser as familiar as the classic Coca-Cola bottle, has died. Kenji Ekuan was 85.
A monk-turned-industrial designer, Ekuan crafted a tabletop bottle for Kikkoman Corp. in 1961, winning international popularity both for the handy dispenser and of course for the salty brown condiment flavoring many Asian cuisines.
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Ekuan has said he wanted to design a small bottle because of his childhood memory of his mother pouring soy sauce from a big half-gallon bottle to a tabletop dispenser.
His renowned works also include motorcycles, audio equipment and company logos.
His office, GK Industrial Design Group, said Monday that Ekuan died of a heart problem at a Tokyo hospital early Saturday.