People

Shinji Hara×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.4

Shinji Hara×Chisako Takashima

2012.01.01

A talk series with the violinist Chisako Takashima and the Ginza people. Ginza holds many personal and professional memories for Takashima. In this talk series, she thoroughly explores various aspects of the Ginza culture with her guests. Today’s guest is Shinji Hara, the fifth generation manager and bearer of the name of the long-standing Japanese footwear shop, Ginza Yoitaya.

It is my job to consider how to express a ‘style’.

Takashima
Do you yourself insert the hanao?
Hara 
Yes, I do. I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve been doing it for 10 years now.
Takashima
Have you always been very skilled with your hands?
Hara 
Fortunately, yes. I’ve been especially good at making things and delicate work since I was a child.
Takashima
As the fifth generation manager, are you going to try to create something new?
Hara 
Although it’s important to make minor changes that suits the current era, I feel much more strongly the need to carry on tradition. ‘Style’ has been a valued concept at our shop from generation to generation, but the sense of style is different for each individual and each era. I feel that it is my job to consider how to express such style in each pair of zori.
Takashima
What are some important points?
Hara 
The way you insert hanao is very important. Inserting hanao is like drawing a curve. We make zori that are not painful to wear by twisting the hanao as we insert them to follow the curve of your feet. The way hanao are inserted differs completely for each shop, so the fit is completely different.
Takashima
If they don’t fit properly, you can get blisters very quickly. Can you tell which zori are the perfect fit for a customer just by looking at their feet?
Hara 
Yes, I can. Surprisingly, many people have misconceptions about their own feet. I think they become convinced when the zori are adjusted in front of their very eyes.

I hope Ginza never loses its unique warmth.

Takashima
It must be difficult running a trade in a prestigious location like Ginza.
Hara 
The environment has changed quite a lot. Old shops actually stand out.
Takashima
Yes, I think so too. Luxury brand shops like Jimmy Choo and Toryburch line the streets that look very Western-style now.
Hara 
Sometimes people are surprised when they see an old shop like ours in Ginza, but we were actually here first (laughs).
Takashima
That is funny (laughs). This street in particular is one of the more luxurious in Ginza.
Hara 
Yes, it is. Thinking about it now, opening a shop in this location was quite a foresight.
I left this area for a while when I was working as a salesman, and it made me recognize the wonderfulness of Ginza even more. I felt such relief when I returned. It’s as if the air itself is different. I feel a sense of ease just walking through these streets.
Takashima
How do you want Ginza to be in the future?
Hara 
Looking in at Ginza from the outside, you see that foreign brands and high class nightclubs, and it might give a feeling of being too classy. But if you take one step further you sense a vibrant warmth, and of an area full of human kindness. Renewal is always important, and I welcome new things developing here that have a sense of ‘Ginza,’ but I hope it never loses its warmth.

The next guest will be…

Takashima
Could you tell us about the next guest?
Hara 
Your next guest will be Choichiro Motoyama, the Chairman of the Sanmotoyama.

Chisako Takashima

Violinist. Started playing the violin at age 6. After playing abroad, she moved her home base to Japan, and gives concerts all over the country. Although her current focus is on performing music, she also appears on TV and radio programs. Thanks to her much-loved personality, she is appearing in more and more venues.

Chisako Takashima’s official website

Shinji Hara

A true native of Ginza, born and raised in Ginza from 1972.
Fifth generation president of Ginza Yoitaya, a long-standing Japanese footwear shop that opened in 1877.
He says that the best feeling is putting together zori that customers say they feel great to wear.

Ginza Yoitaya Website

Writer: Mizuho Takahashi  Location: Ginza Yoitaya

All List

銀座 らん月/みずほ銀行 銀座通支店/(株)天賞堂/
西銀座駐車場/銀座千疋屋/Hatsuko
三笠会館本店/三井住友銀行 銀座支店/ギンザのサヱグサ/
マロニエゲート銀座GINZA

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