Mitake Sangyo:Washing leather. A long-standing manufacturing that took a forbidden technique and made it their strength.

Mitake SangyoWashing leather. A long-standing manufacturing that took a forbidden technique and made it their strength.

Mitake Sangyo started in 1925 as a belt maker in Asakusa.
Their original brand, ANNAK, was launched with the hopes of passing on the manufacturing techniques of the past to the next generation.
Their fan base is steadily expanding.

Washable leather. As the name suggests, the washed leather has a rugged, unique look, like a long used item.
There are times when carrying a brand new item is embarrassing for a man. This is because it reveals that even at their age, they still don’t have their own style figured out. Someone told me that when you buy a leather product, it is still unfinished, and it becomes complete only after using it for a long time. But it is not only mature gentleman who is attracted to the texture of the used leather.

The more the washable leather became popular, the more I felt that I was giving up the fun of "nurturing" the leather in the true sense, but the attitude of the creator who took the user's needs seriously should be highly praised, and in fact , the leather is made extremely well. That's why it became so popular, and Mitake Sangyo was the pioneer. Kazuhiko Aso, the young third generation, says.
"A business partner asked me if I could make something that felt stylish and seasoned. I consulted with my tanner, and he said, ‘Why not get it wet?’”

Water is taboo when dealing with leather. However, Mr. Aso had another thought. Being in the subcontracting business, you have no choice but to compromise on price. There was an urgent need to develop an original product in order to pass on the craftsmanship to the next generation. This leather may be the answer.
They purchased vegetable tanned leather from Tochigi Leather, and created a recipe that does not make the leather mold or crack. After several years of trial and error, their washable leather was complete.
Craftsmanship that begins with hand cutting. Good old tools such as hand planes. By taking traditional craftsmanship and creating products that answer the demands of the current trends using washable leather, ANNAK has increased their number of fans in strides.
ANNAK is kanna (hand plane) spelled backwards.

In addition to the texture of the washed leather, the clear colors are another strength of the brand. Other features of the product are the random handmade studs, and the three-dimensional mesh that makes the edges hard to fray.

For cutting, they use the ruler for the belt devised by the founder.

Hand-cutting is not just about nostalgia. It avoids scratching, and as a result, it is more efficient than using a machine.

The edge is cut at a 45 degree angle with a hand plane. The same applies to the end tip.

They finish by polishing with a loofah. This is also a traditional method of Mitake Sangyo.

A directly managed store that opened in 2013 after renovating the first floor of a building where the resident craftsman used to live. The interior of the store is aligned with old parts and equipment, and the glowing black floor is from the original structure. The display for the belts was originally used as a tool holder in Europe. The store, which was created in response to fans who wanted to see the entire lineup of products, is located directly opposite the company. (Preparing for renewal)