My first memory regarding shoes is of having a pair of sneakers bought for me when I was an elementary school student. I hadn’t owned anything made of leather prior to that, and I remember how appealing I found the gleam from the leather when I polished it.
How did you catch the shoe virus?
Prior to becoming a shoemaker, I worked in sales. As a salesman, I learned that “capable workers do not neglect their feet”. And the more I became aware of people’s feet/footwear, the more I was drawn in and enchanted by the world of shoes. I was almost 30 years of age when I decided to become a shoemaker. I thought of the life that lay before me, and decided that I wanted to work doing something that I could spend the rest of my life doing exhaustively. And when I was thinking of all of this, the most natural answer that arose in my mind was that ‘I want to be a shoemaker’.
Did you have a Mentor? Who had the greatest influence on choosing your career?
Yes, my mentor was Hiro Yanagimachi.
Which other shoemakers do you like?
What are the biggest challenges of nowadays shoemaking?
What memories do you have of your first order?
I got my first order when I was still preparing to launch my business. We spoke, and although I didn’t even have a pair of sample shoes to show, the customer kindly ordered a pair from me. I believe that at time, the customer did not make a judgement based on a pair of shoes that they would get, but rather, I myself was being evaluated. I was incredibly happy. And that customer continues to order shoes from me.
The key elements of a good shoe would be…
Are there any differences in terms of last between Asians and Europeans? Is it a Japanese specificity on shoes?