Kaname：Tanned tanners representing Tokyo Turning a surviving mission into a passion for leather making
Interview in 2022
At the base of the Tokyo Skytree, Sumida Ward, Tokyo, has long had a thriving leather industry. Tanners are on the decline, though the area has inherited its history by taking advantage of its location between large rivers such as the Sumida River and the Arakawa River.
The area, where factories of various industries once stood side by side, has become a residential area due to its proximity to the city center. As the site of a defunct factory turns into a series of large-scale apartment complexes, they have taken numerous measures to coexist with local residents. Sincerely break new ground as an urban tanner.
"When it comes to tanned leather in Tokyo, people say our company. I want to convey the appeal of tannin tanning as a responsibility and mission that survived the changing times. We can't leave the skills of leather craftsmen without continuing the business. In Higashisumida, where our company factory is located, there is also a plan for an industrial park with surrounding businesses, and we will protect leather making so that a pinch becomes an opportunity." says Isamu Sakuma, executive director of Kaname.
This tannin-tanned leather tanner has become one of the few in Asia. The craftsmanship of skilled craftsmen achieves a unique quality. It is also unique in its natural sheen, clarity and beautiful hue, which, when compared to people, is like a bare skin that shines without relying on the power of makeup. "Each piece is carefully hand-painted and dyed in an old-fashioned way. No pigment is used, so feel the natural texture of leather and how it changes over time with your five senses." says Sakuma.
The "retro" movement, which is popular with users, is a boon to leather that can enjoy aging. Technical school students and young creators stopped by the company's booth at the Tokyo Leather Fair, their eyes shining.
He also excels in vintage nuances, including antique dyeing, glazing and cracking. With the support system of the allied pharmaceutical companies, various surface feelings are expressed. Detailed recipes are recorded and maintained in a database. Reproducible from its archives. Adjusting to individual differences in leather, it also responds to small-lot production of many varieties.
After exhibiting at overseas exhibitions, orders are constantly coming in from Asian countries whose economies are growing rapidly. The Japanese national character, which is rooted in business etiquette such as finishing to order and meeting deadlines, is what differentiates them from other countries. Made in Tokyo leather made from domestically produced rawhide, particularly from the hard-to-find dairy cattle of Hokkaido, Folstein rawhide, is another strength. "Hokkaido" and "Tokyo" are well known in Asia and their place names have brand value.
In Japan, the close physical proximity to business partners is a major advantage. It is also in keeping with the current era that travel is completed only within Tokyo. It is well received by busy creators and fashion industry insiders who can easily adjust the finish.
The company's showroom is located about halfway between Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree, and is popular as a walking trail with the nearby power spot Mikakijin Shrine and a cafe that is often featured in the media. It is available by appointment only (appointment by phone is required) for young creators and general users. Experience the unique tint and texture of kaname.