Born in 1932 in Kiryu City, Japan, trained in weaving at his father's textile factory. From 1950-55; also studied at the Theater Arts Institute. In 1950 formed the Tomodachi Za puppet theater group and in 1955 started as independent textile designer in Tokyo. Arai began experimenting with new textile technologies very early in his career. Using traditional family methods of weaving gold and silver lame, he developed a revolutionary metal thread and weaving technique in 1955. In this time he worked with fashion Designers like Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Shin Hosokawa, and others.
He is credited with having introduced the computer into the craft tradition of textile design -- in the 1980s; he used computer technology to achieve the rough-hewn look of folk weaving. Arai is the first to attempt weaving with "macro gauze," a revolutionary yarn that looks like silk but is actually made from stainless steel microfilaments. His work is collected by many major museums around the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Art and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum). In 1987, the British Royal Society of Arts awarded him the title of Honorable Royal Designer for Industry.
Job: Textile designer