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My nanny holds me in her arms shortly after I was born.
Kenzo Takada

Kenzo Takada (2) Growing up at the foot of Himeji Castle

War arrives at the doorstep of a timid boy with a love of traditional fabric

| Japan

I was born in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, on Feb. 27, 1939, as the signs of an impending war in the Pacific were growing stronger.

We lived in Umegae-cho, just north of Himeji Castle, with its beautiful white towers soaring like a heron into the sky. Our home was in the red-light district, where my parents ran an entertainment establishment called the Naniwaro.

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