Creativity emerging from destruction is another redemptive tale from the life and talent of Issey Miyake, the Japanese fashion designer, who has just died aged 84. He was seven when the US detonated an atomic bomb over his hometown of Hiroshima. He was riding to school on his bicycle at the time. “When I close my eyes, I still see things no one should ever experience: a bright red light, the black cloud soon after, people running in every direction trying desperately to escape. I remember it all,” he said. Many of his relatives were killed, along with 140,000 other inhabitants. His mother, a teacher, was severely burnt and died of radiation exposure within three years. He himself developed osteomyelitis, a bone marrow disease, which left him with a permanent limp.
He said he was never able to put the memories behind him but he preferred to think of things that can be created, not destroyed, that bring beauty and joy. He gravitated towards clothing design,” because it is a creative format that is modern and optimistic.”
He sought to make clothes for ordinary people, not the elite and designed uniforms for staff of Sony, the Japanese electronics giant, and for Lithuania’s first Olympic team after the collapse of communism. He also produced the black turtlenecks that became part of the signature attire of his friend Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder. Latterly he was best known for pioneering a pleated style of clothing that never wrinkles, earning himself the sobriquet “prince of pleats”.
Born 22 April 1938 in Hiroshima, the son of a Japanese army officer, he initially wanted to become a dancer or athlete, but changed his mind after reading his sister’s fashion magazines. Fashion design was unheard of in Japan at that time as an occupation for men, so he studied graphic design, before moving to Paris and then New York.
He had his Sun conjunct Mercury in Taurus with Uranus, Venus and Mars spread out through Taurus as well. Earthy Taurus is ruled by Venus and is both creative and tactile, so sensuous fabrics make sense. He also has the classic fashion-business aspect of Venus square Jupiter which delights in having a pleasing look. Neptune in Virgo trine Uranus Venus would add to his artistic abilities and inspiration. His Saturn in forced-to-be-self-reliant Aries is unaspected making him solitary by inclination and he was seemingly a private man. A hard-working Capricorn Moon probably opposed Pluto and maybe trined Venus and/or Mars – giving rise to stressed issues around his mother, understandably.
His Mars in late Taurus conjunct the South Node and sextile Pluto give a hint of his traumatic childhood. Mars close to the South Node is described by one astrologer as “touching the darkness.” His South Node is a degree and a half away from Algol so that also resonates with the atrocity. The Scorpio North Node is one of the more challenging positions and points to transformation through loss.
When the bomb dropped in 1945 tr Pluto in Leo was about to trine his Saturn and square his Solar Arc Sun and Mercury in the devastating aftermath.
A testament to the ability of the human spirit to survive and bring new life.