Browse through our archives to read out about past Genius Table events and the unique venues in which they were held.


France-Japan exchange at "Senryogatsuji"



Françoise Ginestié

Former IP lawyer and managing partner, Current CEO of an asset management office

Françoise Ginestié is a former IP lawyer registered at the Paris Bar and managing partner of the French law firm Ginestie Magellan Paley-Vincent associés.
She is presently CEO of a large family office In London investing worldwide in the hospitality business.
Her main interests are literature, bookbinding and Japanese life and culture : she has rented an old Meiji machiya in Kyoto for three months to deepen her knowledge of Japan.


Walking down from Imadegawa-omiya, what immediately hits your eyes is a charming series of Japanese traditional houses, the so called machiya.
In Nishijin area, famous for weaves, there is a street called “Senryo-ga tsuji”―several hundreds years ago it was a strategic point of industry in Japan.Today’s TABLE is in “Kyo-some-juku,” a Machiya built 150 years ago, located in the middle of this street. Here lives and works in his atelier Mr. Shinichiro Minami, a Kyo-Yuzen dyeing artist.
Today’s GENIUS, Françoise Ginestié has an international career: previously as an IP lawyer in France, and currently as a CEO of an asset management office in London. Ms. Françoise has also lived for three months in a traditional machiya, here in Kyoto, to feel directly and experience Japanese traditional culture, society and habits.
At 12:00, our TABLE started with an omelette, which was provided by Daitokuji Saikiya and gathers people from the whole country. “French people think living together is the best way to choose our partner―otherwise we can’t understand how he or she is.” “What’s the meaning of “LOVE” for Japanese boys and girls?” Questions came out one after another, ranging France and Japan.
In the second half of the TABLE, Mr. Minami explained about his Machiya and his works, and then he gave us the opportunity to visit his atelier freely. GENIUS wore a Yuzen with a Santa Clause print. Dressed in traditional and modern, her smile was so cheerful.
Surrounding a brazier and with sake in our hand, we enjoyed a precious Kyoto experience in the old Machiya.



Shinichiro Minami works and lives in a nearly 150-year-old Kyo-Machiya studio. After studying under the guidance of hand-painted Tokyo-Yūzen artist, Shusui Tanaka, Minami later created his own business. Minami now holds workshops, known as the Kyoto Dyeing School, where he hands down the traditional techniques of authentic hand-coloured Kyo-Yūzen, dating back from the Genroku era.
Daitokuji Saikiya

Located in Murasakino, Kita Ward, they sincerely prepare only pre-ordered lunches.
One of the best dishes is a Japanese-style omelette with kombu stock.
For this is a special one, some people visit Saikiya from far away to get their rolled omelette.