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[Beaus of Okinawa File Vol. 2] Ukishima-dori Leather Craftsman
post : 2014.06.11 16:00
If you go from Kokusai-dori (“dori" means street) on to Ukishima-dori and walk a little bit, on the left side there is a modest general store with a good atmosphere. Anshare project is a select shop that deals in handmade items from artists in Okinawa.
There are 10 artists that deal from the shop including the owner Shotaro, and the store is snugly lined up with a wide variety of goods such as leather, silver accessories, brass, pottery, camera straps and clothing.
You can feel the attention to detail the makers put into their work from the items themselves, and they consist only of high quality pieces which were specially gathered by the owner Shotaro. He says, “I want to make a brand that goes from Okinawa to the world”.
The shop opened with the idea of supporting the artists and craftsmen of Okinawa who truly love making things.
Shotaro was originally studying economics at university. Rather than mass production, he became interested in high-mix low-volume production, a unique Japanese production method where a wide variety of items are specially made one by one and sold. He graduated from university wanting to make things, so he entered a housing contractor firm. He worked selling housing plans. When he went to a building site and saw the craftsmen working, he was so moved by the work of the professionals that he had a strong desire to support local craftsmen while creating things himself.
Shotaro is a designer and craftsman of his own leather and brass brand “BRATHLESS”.
“If more high concept brands start in Okinawa, it will connect to local employment. That is one of the goals of why I became a craftsman. My dream is to vitalize Okinawa by having high quality workshops like the streets of Florence.”
Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and gave birth to famous artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and it is the world’s leading artisan town.
With a refreshing, passionate, and straightforward gaze, the dream he is aiming for is quite huge. The collaborations between artists in the growing anshare project, and Shotaro himself, are things to look out for in the future.
2-12-8 Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa 901-0153
Operating Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm
Closed Day(s): Wednesday
Okinawa Clip Photowriter Sandy