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Discover MUJI – from our humble beginnings to our unique design philosophy, and ultimately our mission.

MUJI was founded in 1980 with the goal of creating simple, high-quality products at a low cost. The company's focus on rationalizing the manufacturing process led to a reexamination of products through three lenses: material selection, inspection process, and packaging simplification.

Shitake Mushroom

Re-examine Overlooked Or Discarded Things

One of the innovative approaches MUJI took was to sell misshapen, irregular mushrooms at a lower cost instead of discarding them. Other companies would typically discard these mushrooms because of their non-uniform shape.

By using these misshapen mushrooms, MUJI was able to reduce waste and offer customers a more affordable product. This approach was in line with MUJI's commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact.

Ikko Tanaka’s 1981 canned salmon ad for Muji Ryohin Keikaku

Substance First

MUJI’s products, born from an extremely rational manufacturing process, are succinct, but they are not in the minimalist style. That is, they are like empty vessels. Simplicity and emptiness yield the ultimate universality, embracing the feelings and thoughts of all people. We have been credited with being “resource-saving”, “low-priced”, “simple”, “anonymous” and “nature-oriented”.

Image: The Whole Salmon Is Salmon, 1981

Not "This is what I want" but "This will do"

Our approach at MUJI is not to create products that trigger strong emotional responses like "This is what I must have" or "This is exactly what I wanted." Instead, we aim to provide customers with a rational sense of satisfaction that can be expressed as "This will do."

 Ikko Tanaka: Muji’s first newspaper ad (1980)

No-Brand Superior Items

By emphasizing natural colors and using only essential design elements, we promote a sincere and simple lifestyle that aligns with MUJI's original art director Ikko Tanaka's vision. Our products are designed to be practical, functional, and of the highest quality, without the need for excessive ornamentation or branding.

London, Ikko Tanaka: Muji poster (2000)

Currently, there are more than 1,000 MUJI stores around the world, and more than 7,000 product items, including clothing, household goods, food, diners, homes, and even hotels. However, the core of the idea has not changed since its birth and continues to point to the "basics" and "universality" of life, like a compass pointing to the north.


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