We want to make gifts that utilize our skills.
When I was in my late twenties or early thirties, the friends around me began to get married one by one. When the friends I had spent my youth with were getting married,
"I'd like to give a gift that draws on the skills and know-how I've cultivated as a craftsman!"
I started to think about it.
For example, if I were a pastry chef, I could bake my own cakes, and if I were a florist, I could give friends bouquets that I had arranged. But at the time, I was making brackets, stays and switchboards. It was about as far from a gift as you could get.
What kind of things can we make with sheet metal working?
I thought about it and made prototypes, but I was never able to come up with something that satisfied me. I've become good at coming up with ideas now, but at the time I really didn't know what to do.
I've heard that people at advertising agencies often train themselves to come up with at least 100 ideas for a project. Maybe it was a training period for me to come up with ideas.
It's pretty obvious now, but when we start thinking about "what we can do with sheet metal processing", we can see the result.
A stainless steel dish I developed in the early days.
If I think about it, this wasn't commercialized either.
Encounter with SAPEURS
Time passed and it was 2015.
A picture of a group of African gentlemen dressed to perfection in colorful suits suddenly came to my attention one day. That was SAPEURS.
Four years later I got to meet Sapur photographer SAP CHANO. The picture I saw was taken by him.
This is exactly the one picture of SAPEURS that I first came to know and that changed my life.
They wore colorful suits that we Japanese would never have thought of, and their message was simple and straightforward: "We don't fight because our clothes get dirty."
It took me a moment to become a fan of theirs.
Why did SAPEUR's message stick in my mind?
From the time I was young, my mother was the biggest victim of the ferocity that my father emitted.
By the time I was in junior high school or so, I saw my classmates in a complicated family environment become delinquent. But I couldn't do it because I knew that if I had been a bad boy or smoked cigarettes, it would be my mother who would suffer more than anyone else.
I had always been more sensitive than most people to the feelings of "anger" expressed by others, and I had received an intense dislike for it. But unconsciously, I was using the energy of my anger and resentment toward my father as fuel to rebuild the company.
I clashed with my father many times at the company. I even got into fistfights with him. And finally I realized that anger is the only way to create a negative cycle, and that the person who can only express himself through anger is in fact the biggest victim.
This "no-fighting" attitude prevents us from stepping into that silly arena and gives us the best possible environment for our personality to flourish.
SAPEURS embodied the best fashionable and non-contentious way of life, and for me, they were my heroes. They were people who had already expressed what I felt in my heart through fashion. It was a fresh surprise to me to see such people in Africa.
"I want to meet them someday, and when I do, I want to create something worthy of them and give it with my own technology. How wonderful it would be if we could take the message of SAPEURS to the world with them.
That's what I've come to think seriously.
However, the idea didn't come to me that easily. But I was always thinking, "What possibilities are there for fashion items? The antennae that I had been using kept going up.