Stories: Yumiko Sekine of Fog Linen Work

Stories: Yumiko Sekine of Fog Linen Work

Yumiko Sekine started houseware brand Fog Linen in the late 90s after being unable to find affordable everyday linens like the ones she used during her childhood in Morioka, Japan. After traveling to Lithuania, she met her sourcing partners and began to design her collections - centered on creating beautiful and simple pieces that make the everyday feel more special. 

As huge fans of design and beautifully crafted items, we've long admired Fog Linen. When we learned that Yumiko's not only a bean lover, but her husband grows his own varieties on the rooftop of their home in Tokyo, we knew we wanted to connect.

 

Beanstory: Yumiko, it's so lovely to share more about you and your story. The motto of your brand is "Live with Linen. Everyday." What is it about linen that you believe enhances our everyday experience?

Yumiko Sekine: Not only with textiles, but it's important to have good quality products around. Every night, as I lay down in my bed and am covered in a linen duvet and sheet, I just feel so happy. Same for when I hold a tea cup or a favorite mug. It brings me joy.

 

Morning ritual with Yumiko Sekine of Fog Linen Work

 

B: You've published the book Simplicity at Home, which celebrates rituals and recipes for thoughtful living. What does living a thoughtful life mean to you?

YS: During Covid time, I had much time at home. This time made me realize how simple life makes me happy. Without traveling or spending much money, there are lots of things we can do at home that can make us feel happy. 

 

B: What are some of the rituals you practice in your own daily life?

YS: I meditate for 5 minutes every morning. This gets me ready for the day. 

 

B: Do you have a favorite item from Fog Linen?

YS: Yes! All items we carry are things I use in my own home. I especially love our bed linen and towels - and the way they feel directly on the skin. I love feeing the texture of linen. 

  

Linen bedding from Fog Linen Work

 

B: What is your creative process like? Where do you find inspiration?

YS: I get inspiration from everyday life. What we carry are what I need for my life. 

 

B: We understand that your husband grows beans in your home garden. What varieties does he grow?

YS: He grows Edamame. Soy beans. During summertime, we eat fresh edamame. 

 

Rooftop image from Yumiko Sekine's Toyko home
 Photo credit: Masao Nishikawa 

 

B: You eat beans everyday. How do you like to cook them? Do you have any recipes that you turn to over and over again?

YS: I just like to eat them in a simple way. I soak them in water for a day. Then boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes, drain and add olive oil on top. 

 

B: Aside from beans, what are some of your favorite things to cook?

YS: I like food made of beans, tofu, natto, hummus. I also get fresh organic vegetables. I often put vegetables and tofu in a Chinese steam basket and steam them. I just need a little salt and oil for them.  

 

B: What is it about living in Japan that might surprise visitors?

YS: Some of my foreign friends stayed with us and they were surprised how quiet my life is. Not only me, but in the residential area. It's surprisingly quiet compared to Shibuya Crossing. As you go in deeper as a visitor, you may find quietness and calmness. 

 

B: If you weren't living in Japan, is there anywhere else in the world you would want to be?

YS: The U.K. It is also an island I find lots of similarities between Japan and the U.K..

 

B: What is it that you love most about your home?

YS: I enjoy time with my husband. I feel happy when I get home and chat with him about our days over dinner time.

Thank you, Yumiko. As we shed our winter layers in this part of the world and move into Spring, this conversation is a lovely reminder that we have all that we need. 

 

Image of Yumiko Sekine alongside an image of her book Simplicity at Home

 

Explore the world of Fog Linen and Yumiko's book Simplicity at Home to add beauty to your every day. 


 

 

 

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