People

Rie Horikawa×Chisako Takashima

GINZA CONNECTIVE VOL.14

Rie Horikawa×Chisako Takashima

2012.11.01

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 Rie Horikawa, director of Optician Iwasaki, a glasses shop with a long history that has been around since the Meiji era.

Optician Iwasaki was a pioneer in mass production of lenses for glasses.

Takashima
Your shop opened in 1895. How many directors preceded you?
Horikawa
I am the 5th generation director. The shop has been passed down from generation to generation, so there is a lot of pressure, but I will do my best.
Takashima
When did you start to realize that you would be taking over the shop?
Horikawa
In high school. My grandfather was a real gentleman, never seen without a hat and suit, so he really gave off the air of a true Ginza-ite. I admired him, and felt that I would like to take over the shop from him someday.
Takashima
What were glasses like during the Meiji era?
Horikawa
Technology for mass producing glasses came to Japan at the start of the Meiji era and the popularity of domestic made lenses was beginning to spread, but Muneyoshi Iwasaki, who was an elder brother of the shop’s founder, was considered a pioneer in mass production of lenses for glasses. Unlike today, there were very few varieties of frames. Glasses back then were generally round frames with glass lenses. In those days, the focus was not on design, but on functionality for vision correction.

The facade of Optician Iwasaki

Rows of different types of glasses lined up in the shop

UV protection glasses are a must for protecting your eyes from UV rays.

Takashima
Nowadays, which are more common, plastic or glass lenses?
Horikawa
Plastic are mainstream nowadays. They are light, don’t crack easily and have superior functionality.
Takashima
When I had glasses made in the past, I was told that plastic lenses would be very thick.
Horikawa
That is not the case anymore. Technology has really progressed. Unless the prescription is really strong, the lenses can be made very thin.
Takashima
I see that you also wear glasses. How strong is your prescription?
Horikawa
Actually they are not corrective lenses. I have very good vision. They are only UV protective.
Takashima
That’s very surprising for the director of a glasses shop! You’re very lucky.
Horikawa
Yes, but I really like glasses, so I have many pairs. UV rays are very bad for your eyes, so I wear UV protection glasses whenever I go outside.
Takashima
UV rays are also bad for your eyes?
Horikawa
Yes. They say they cause cataracts. Even if you have good vision, it is recommended that you wear glasses with UV care effects.

All List

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

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