This multifaceted talent delves in fashion, music, picture books & more. Eschewing the idea of a job title, he navigates his way through the industry's creative halls, opening doors to opportunities as they arise. But this spirit wasn't always so free, when family troubles during childhood left him wanting to end his own life. Now a force that shines bright, one thing is for sure; wherever he goes, a trail of brilliant colors follow.
Hi, I'm Shimizu Bunta.
I am who I am. I don't describe
myself with a title.
Thanks for having me.
Check out these five frames of love for me and you.
What words describe you best?
I'm a wardrobe stylist, I write, I make music
and recently I've been making a picture book.
My work tends to be colorful.
I really love to express myself through color,
whether through visuals or in words.
Today, I'm the stylist for my former assistant
who started her own fashion brand.
It's pro-bono but I thought if I can get a nice
lunch out of it, why not help her out?
Oh, you're just here for the food!?
I style musicians, and for advertising.
I started working as a stylist when
I was still in high school.
He's my mentor and I respect him a lot.
His style is about mixing a bunch of stuff together,
but he always makes it look good.
It's very calculated and detailed,
and full of pure creativity.
I brought shoes and accessories
from my own closet to use.
"Clothing" exists because someone created it,
and someone wears it.
So, there's no room for my own ego in the styling;
my job is to make the designer's vision come alive.
Bunta is one of a kind, you'll never find another.
He's resolute, but he's also sensitive.
He's a multifaceted talent.
Oh, I think the yellow one might look good.
It balances it out.
I drew the illustration printed on the shirt.
So, I feel that Bunta is probably picking
up on the color story from the prints.
And maybe he's trying to bring the watercolor
tights and organdy fabric to life.
Are you homing in on an inspiration now?
What do you mean?
- Like from the prints or something?
- Maybe... but just subconsciously!
This is my apartment.
You can see that I spend a lot of time here.
Here is where I work.
I keep my instruments and equipment
and the clothes I made in here.
Here are some books I wrote.
I styled everything in the book. The theme
was, "Why does color exist?"
And then I asked people, "What if there were
no colors?" and collected their answers.
The reason I started writing is because
I want people who are struggling with
life or worries to feel at ease.
I felt that it was easiest to convey
that message through words.
Sympathy for each other.
An irreplaceable precious person.
People you don’t like.
Something so distressing
you can’t look at it.
Can what's moving deep inside
our hearts be felt through color?
Our color is the color of our soul.
- You've got quite some luggage.
Yeah, it's to carry my "taiko" drum and equipment.
- So, it's music day today?
- Yes, it is.
This is Hina.
We're a duo. We fuse electronic music
together with the "taiko" drums.
My field to me is...
A way to find room to grow.
I've been to so many places and done so many
things, and all of it has made me who I am.
Every part of my career is where I belong.
Mentions of self-harm and suicide follow.
I might be working out too much but...
I'm being watched.
I was skin and bones before.
I wasn't healthy.
My body filled out when I started exercising.
I didn't play any sports when I was in junior high,
I was more of a "hikikomori" shut-in.
Now, I have energy, like I'm a kid again.
I think this is my natural body shape.
When I was a child, my family consisted of me, my
mom and dad, a younger sister and grandparents.
And I lived happily until I was five or six.
Then, my parents got divorced.
Bunta was 13 years old
when his mom remarried,
and he started living
with his stepfather.
It was strange to have a "new dad."
I didn't know how to interact; it was an
uncomfortable situation for both of us.
I kept asking myself, "Where do I really belong?"
I just wanted a place to feel safe.
And then, my mental health was failing.
I have scars on my arms from self-harm.
I've covered them with tattoos now.
When I think back on it now, I know
that I shouldn't have harmed myself.
But I'm OK now to the point I can
make tattoos of my scars.
Still, that point in my life was rough.
I was thinking about suicide a lot.
I was straddling death and survival all the time.
I was saved from despair
by having things to like.
I liked fashion, music, and reading books.
I also liked reading manga.
I wanted to do many things but didn't
think they were possible for me.
I didn't think a person like me
could possibly have dreams.
I didn't like my stepfather then.
But looking back, he did buy me
colored pencils to draw with.
It was an olive branch to me.
I was angry with my real dad
because I felt abandoned.
When we'd meet after a while he'd say,
"It seems you're OK, I'm glad."
And I realized that even though
we're apart, he was thinking of me.
Because of my maturity now,
I can look back on that and see how
those small things made me happy.
But I was in such a lonely environment at
the time that I couldn't find any happiness.
I'm sharing this story openly now for those
who struggle to accept themselves.
I want to give them hope
that things can get better.
Every action I take in my work
is to convey that message.
I came to meet up with my old high school
teacher who lives in Shizuoka Prefecture.
It's been about eight years.
I left the house I was living in at the time.
I didn't have any money.
I couldn't even buy textbooks.
Bunta was 16 years old
when he left home.
His parents didn’t give him
financial support at home.
So, Bunta began attending
a special part-time school.
- Long time no see.
I've grown a bit. My body's gotten a bit softer.
A softer heart, for sure.
His name is Mr. Yokoyama.
I confided in him a lot in high school.
You were troubled by so many things: not having
a place to live, no money, it was a lot.
I remember when I told you
about what was going on.
It was the most difficult time of my life.
Oh, how nostalgic.
Gosh, I was skin and bones.
I remember you were so good at jumping rope.
I did enjoy sports and games.
You did really well at school. You got a
100% score on your midterm test.
I ate convenience store bread a lot.
I only had enough for a small bag to eat all day.
You said you walked to school instead of taking the train.
Is it because you wanted to save money?
It's more like, I needed that train
money to buy bread to eat,
or to buy clothes from the dollar store.
You were absent from school a lot.
When you were here, I reminded you
it was OK to take it slow.
I remember that.
To not burn out.
To take it easy.
These words of wisdom saved me.
When Mr. Yokoyama learned
of Bunta’s dire straits,
he helped him apply for
This helped stabilize Bunta’s life.
It's OK to lean on someone sometimes.
That's what Mr. Yokoyama taught me.
I learned that having someone to look
out for me is what feeling "safe" meant.
Finally, I had the mental and physical
capacity to do the things I wanted to.
I started a part-time job.
I bought clothes.
I was so happy; I couldn't stop shopping!
Yeah, Halloween was every day for you!
You made a lot of friends and became
popular among the students.
Bunta at 19.
Bunta was recognized for
his unique personal style,
and it got him jobs as a
fashion stylist in the industry.
These colors have Bunta's
name written all over it.
Ah, I'm so happy you have this saved in your tablet.
I have plans to keep creating more and more,
and I want to show it to you.
I wish you a long, healthy life.
I want to live long as well.
With that powerful body, you have
nothing to worry about.
When I look back, I realize there were people
who literally pulled me out of hell.
And they listened to my problems.
In that way, I was so blessed.
That's why I want to live a full life now.
When things are tough, some
people give up on life.
But even if your heart is at its limit,
you gotta have faith and give yourself breathing
room to trust in the people you meet.
To me, foundation means...
All my encounters with people,
layered up one-by-one.
We were all just living our lives together.
That's why we trust Bunta with our hearts.
"Family" can be anyone who you love,
blood related or not.
Love is love.