Eli came to Takayas Custom Jewelry with a vision of paying homage to Japanese culture in the form of an engagement ring. More specifically, the aspects that his partner loves most- like Capcom’s action-adventure Okamiin addition to Kitsune imagery; the Japanese word for fox and a prominent staple in Japanese folklore. After he excitedly slipped the design permanently onto his partner’s finger, he was kind enough to share his experience designing his engagement ring with us and even included his sweet proposal story.
Q: What was the inspiration behind your ring’s design?
A: My Fiancee has a bachelor’s in international studies with a concentration on Asian culture, and I wanted to bring light to her passion through the engagement ring. She has a love for Japanese culture and folklore in specific, and one of our favorite video games is Okami due to its traditional Japanese sumi-e style and mythology. The ring I designed with Takayas incorporated the swooping, painted elements from the game, while also featuring elements of a nine-tailed fox spirit or Kitsune. The animal heads on the ring can be interpreted as wolf or fox heads, with nine tails gently forming the band.
Kitsune are often portrayed as beautiful women who hide a dark, supernatural side beneath the surface. Beautiful, but never to be underestimated or taken for granted. My Fiancee and I both adore horror movies and fiction, so including a bit of macabre thematicism was a must. I feel the ring is a perfect representation of our relationship together, and is just as beautiful and mysterious as the woman I’m in love with.
I did not wish to place a traditional diamond at the center of the ring, but opted instead for a light blue topaz, which is her favorite color. She has also traditionally worn silver jewelry instead of gold, so that was an easy choice as well. The metal itself had to be something resilient because my Fiancee suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and washes her hands many times a day. I did not want her to worry about the ring degrading from soap and water exposure, so with Takayas’ recommendation, white gold was chosen.
Q: What was your experience designing a custom ring like?
A: I loved the experience of designing the ring and working with Takayas and his staff. They were all wonderful empathetic people and the entire process was wonderfully personable and stress-free!
The entire process took about five months through email correspondence, and I have to say the end result was well worth the wait. Takayas took a jumble of ideas I had and created a work of art that was everything I hoped and more.
Q: What was your partner’s reaction?
A: I did not [propose] with the Takayas ring originally, as it was still in the design process while my Fiancee and I were on vacation at Disneyland, and I did not wish to lose the opportunity to purpose at the happiest place on earth. I wanted the best of both worlds, so using a different ring, I purposed in front of the Carthay Circle restaurant right before the Paint the Night parade – to which we had front row seats. It wasn’t until we made it back to the hotel that I revealed that she was not just getting one ring…but two, and that it was going to be a custom Takayas. She was floored.
My fiancee has admired Takayas’ work for years and has shown me rings from his blog in the past, which is what led me to pursue the company in the first place. She was so happy that she would have a custom ring of her own. When the first renders became available, our jaws were on the floor.
A huge thank you to Eli, for providing his insight, and for being an absolute pleasure to work with!