Special Interview: Author Otsuichi and Shin Sobue

Born in Aichi Prefecture 1959.
Sobue graduated from Aichi Prefectural Asahigaoka High School, and left Tama Art University without graduating. He is the representative of Cozfish, which was established in 1990. From cultural books to novels and to comic books, Sobue's book design exists in a wide variety of areas. His design surprises the readers and authors; the publishers, printing companies, and book stores are astonished by them. His design is not just innovative, but embodies the power and image that the book encompasses. Sobue also works as the art director for the Prado Museum Exhibit at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. His major works include “Warui Fue Ehaiku 2”(Sensha Yoshida/Freestyle), “Shinjuku Nicho-me no Masumasu Hogaraka na Hitobito”(Kadokawa)

What is your name?

Shin Sobue

Which country do you wish to represent?


What did you have in mind when creating your T-1 T-shirt design?

Last year's t-shirts were "AkaharaT", and a clear-minded bright and friendly "Sanhan-chan T-shirt". So my theme this year was something that was different from last year. "Requiem". I aimed for a calming, comfortable t-shirt. A "sleeping fish t-shirt". I designed a dream of a goldfish, quietly sleeping in a large, deep swimming pool. A dream that they dream at night, although goldfishes never close their eyes. The goldfishes inside the t-shirt are staying at the most quiet place inside the t-shirt. The bottom part of the t-shirt always rustles, and they can't feel relaxed in the back. The left chest, they can hear your heart loudly pounding. So they are calmly staying at your right chest. When you wear this, move gracefully and gently, so they don't wake up.

What sort of places or situations will best fit your T-shirt design, do you think?

Parties, funerals..... Anywhere is fine. Feel like you've become an aquarium for them.

Has your final T-shirt design turned out the same as you initially imagined it would?

The water pattern of the pool is exaggerated Hockney, the goldfish has realistic scales but the silhouette is a bit like Mathis, was my initial image. As I went along, the shape changed bit by bit, but my initial vision did not change from the start. The water pattern is drawn with a ballpoint pen.

When you were designing your T-1 T-shirt, how did the process compare with your normal work?

Drawing lines was so much fun!

Please give your T-shirt a name.

sleeping fish

Please give us a message to all the people who visit the website, to spark their interest in your T-shirt.

Again, I did an elaborate design.
The color black used in my t-shirt is a plain black, and the goldfish in vivid colors.I'm sure this t-shirt will feel good on you.

If there is any music that would best fit your T-shirt design, please let us know.

"Because" by the Beatles.
I heard it is a rewound score of Bethooven's Moonlight Sonata.

Is there any strikingly memorable or impressive T-shirt that you remember?

A t-shirt once sold at agnes b., with a monotone illustration of a woman’s facee drawn on it.The artwork was done by Lou Lou Picasso, and it looked real nice.

What is your favorite food?


Are there any countries that you'd like to travel, if you had the chance and time?

Buenos Aires in Argentina, or other South American countries.Tahiti sounds nice too.

Are there any people, things, happenings, that have especially influenced you?

I'll tell you next time.

What do you want most? Anything?

A dense chunk of time.

Is there anything that you recommend us to check out? Any items, events, etc?

Frogs, definitely frogs! Especially hoptoads‥‥

Who would make you most pleased if they were to wear your T-shirt?

Someone who can love frogs too.

If you have any news or information about your recent or upcoming activities, please let us know.

I'm preparing a book right now, "Sobue Shin + cozfish".It will be a collection of my past works, and will be published from Pie Books.(Planned price: 8190 yen)