Creative: Sakamoto Corporation
Sakamoto Corporation：The evolution of leather made with traditional methods that carry on the history Artistry and antiviral features for the next 100 years
Interview in 2022
The Himeji black pantile leather combines the traditional Japanese techniques of tanning and lacquering. It is also called the "black diamond of leather" because it looks like small jewels encrusted on leather. It is said that it was resistant to friction and was used in martial arts equipment such as the torso chest of kendo, and in the Warring States period, it was used in armor of the general class.
Such traditionally produced leather has attracted attention in a different genre.
"The elegant sparkle, which seems to condense a Japanese aesthetic, creates an Oriental mood.
In the past, it was only available in black, taking advantage of the characteristic of lacquer. In order to propose leather of a quality that can be said to be art as a fashion material, color variations have been strengthened. The trendy colors of each occasion are also actively challenged. Matching is difficult due to the compatibility of lacquer and leather (foundation), but I am happy to see new facial expressions, chemical changes, and requests from clients, "says Hiroshi Sakamoto, representative of Sakamoto Shoten.
Alarmed by the shrinking market caused by a decline in the number of kendo enthusiasts, he appealed to the fashion industry. The one-of-a-kind story and high added value make it popular. It also actively participates in overseas exhibitions. The company has been on a winning streak, winning numerous awards in contests, including the "Premiere Vision Paris" PV Award for Leather Handlebar.
The Himeji black pantile leather Polar won the first Japanese grand prize in the best new leather category at the Hong Kong APLF Awards MM & T Exhibition (Materials Exhibition) in 2014. The judges praised him for "elevating traditional leather since the samurai era to the level of modern fashion such as bags and shoes."
It is also certified as a Japanese Eco Leather, and it has the aspect of being a leather that can cuddle up in an era of increasing environmental awareness. The effect of lacquer on black pantile leather (the antibacterial and antiviral effects of lacquer) should also be noted. They asked a research institute and got a test result that the virus was 99.9% dead. It's also likely to be the leather proposal that the with-corona-aftercorona era demands.
Yu, who will be the company's fourth generation, also joined the company. Strengthen use of SNS by developing B-to-B and B-to-C services in parallel. As a result of continuing to share his thoughts on new releases and creations, he received a lot of responses to his posts, and orders from overseas kept coming through Instagram. I received offers from the U.S., Belgium and many others. There was also an order for harness from a French horse owner's salon.
In addition, it was used in Seiko's premium model, the Grand Seiko, and sold worldwide. The beauty of the combination of lacquer and leather, light and shadow captures the hearts of watch fans.
In one accommodation, it was used for wallpaper and amenity storage, trash cans and menu covers in a face-to-face kitchen. In 2019, it opened a gallery space displaying black pantile leather. In 2023, the company will celebrate its 100 year anniversary. Looking ahead to the next 100 years, the possibilities of "black sangekawa" that transcend genre boundaries, from kendo to fashion to jewelry to interiors ・・・ are likely to expand.