Vol. 102 Individualist “Chptr 1 and Vrs 2”

Following on interview with Leather crafter “Akira Hirano” on Chptr 1 and Vrs 1. He will go further about his creation as well as his thoughts on Japaneseness.



IO) 具体的にオーダーメイドから得られるものは何だとお考えですか?
What exactly is it that they can earn from made-to-order product?


平野さん) 印刷屋の友人に自分の名刺をオーダーした時に体験したことですが、 素材を選び、デザインのアイデアを出してもらいながら選んでいく過程は実に楽しく、出来上がりを待つ際のワクワク感や、手にした時の喜び、名刺交換をする時の話のネタになるなどと、今となってもいい思い出ですね。また、お客様に聞いたお話ですが、製作させて頂いた名刺入れがきっかけとなり初対面の方と話が弾んだり、仕事へのモチベーションが上がったりするということもあるそうです。

This is one of my personal experiences when I order my own business card from one of my friends. I got to choose one material and design from various choices he offered for me and the process of it was so fascinating that chatting with him regarding to these choices that I made, the time that I need to wait to get my choices done well, the joy that I have it in my hand at last, and I could get to tell a story when I swap my business card with anyone. These are one of my good memories until this day.

Also one of my customers told me that just because of a card case that I made, there might be times that he can start a great conversation with someone new. Also every time he looks at his card case, it motivates him to work hard on his job.


HA 4


IO) ご自身のクリエーション のトレンドと傾向。
Any thoughts of trend, current scene of your creation and for the future?


平野さん) 製作始めの頃は40代、50代の方からオーダーを頂く機会が多かったですが最近では同世代の方々や、20代の方のオーダーも増えて来ています

There was a tendency that I could receive a personal order from someone in their 40’s to 50’s when I started, however recently younger generation like my age, 30’s and even people in their 20’s happened to know about me and purchase my work and it was really surprising for me.


IO) 皮業界やハンドメイド業界の個人的な考え、男性・女性の比率等はいかがですか?
Your own thoughts on leather industries and/or handmade industries? And gender proportion?


平野さん) 革は供給量の減少の為に年々値上がりしており、個人で活動される方にとっては状況が少しずつ厳しくなっていくと感じています。 また、革業界にはどこか古い体質を感じさせる何かがあると思います。 しかし、そのような中でも古い体質に依存せずに新たな突破口を開こうとイベントを企画し、活動されている問屋さん、タンナーさん達が日本各地にいらっしゃいますね。問屋( ハシモト産業さん) やタンナー(新喜皮革さん栃木レザーさん) が代表でしょうか。注目されると面白いと思います。

I will assume that as the price of leather will go higher due to the decrease of quantity supplied, we, as an individual craters, might face a hard time working on our own. Though I somehow feel outdated characteristic of this industry in general. Nevertheless, there are some companies that try to make a breakthrough by getting creative and participating in these industries with a great idea.
Wholesaler: L factory (Hashimoto Industries)
Tanner: Shinki-Hikaku, Tochigi Leather.
They are few of them that I came up with for now. It might be interested if you get to know them through their website.
The proportion would be mostly male but there are some orders from females. I would say 80% male and 20% female. 


HA 8


IO) 日本はあなたにとってどんな場所ですか?
What is Japan? (Your own perspective or as an entity)


平野さん) 好きな国です.
I love Japan.


IO) 日本人としての自国についての考えや具体的にどこが好きかお聞かせください!
As a Japanese individual, what exactly do you love about Japan?


平野さん) 日本人として日本は好きですし、日本人として誇りに思っています。しかし、恥ずかしながら深く考えたことがありません。

I love Japan and I’m proud of being Japanese, However I am ashamed to say that I never spent time to really think about my own country.


IO) 日本の良いところと悪いところは?
Positive and negative side of Japan, being Japanese?


平野さん) 「美」の意識 。そして良くも悪くもミーハーなところでしょうか。
Aesthetic of beauty. Hip-followers, or I would say we are posers in both good and bad ways.


IO) 具体的には?
Care to elaborate?


平野さん) 日本の文化に代表される繊細なものに惹かれることが多いですね。モノ、気配り、言葉の表現 など多くあります。自身も含めですが、外の世界に影響されやすく、新しいもの好きという印象がありますね。 しかしながら、それはある一面を見れば新たな価値を生みやすい環境なのかな?とも思います。

I am attracted to subtleness, delicacy of what Japan holds. Things, Sensitivity, Expression, there are many of them that I’m fond of.
Japanese might be considered to be susceptible population including me of course and I am under the impression that Japanese like something new and fresh, emerging stuff etc. However, I also came to think that just because Japanese might be susceptible to something, we might be considered to be the one that being able to create a new value with something with what we accept as a receiver.


IO) 西洋や日本の文化に対する憧れは何か感じますか?
Any aspiration, envy against western or Japanese cultures?


平野さん) 感じますね。西洋と日本の文化両方に感じます。そのなかで両方の建築関連においては特に感じることが多いような気がしますね。小さい頃、父親にくっついて建築現場に出入りしていた影響かもしれません。

I am. As a Japanese, I feel those feelings in architecture for both Japanese and western probably just because I used to tag along after my dad to go to building site.


IO) 人生とは何でしょうか?
The definition of life in one word/sentence.


平野さん) 日々においての勉強だと思います。
Learn all the way everyday.


HA 3


IO) 同業者と差別化を図る方法、秘策はありますか?
Any tips or secrets of differentiate with any other competitor?


平野さん) 特にこれといって意識はしていません 。
I do not have anything about that in particular.


IO) 何か注目しているもの、人はいますか?なんでも構いません!
Something that currently you are into?


平野さん) 家具職人集団 KOMA羊屋銀座テイラー (テイラー羊屋) 
Handmade furniture collective “KOMA
Tailor “Hitsujiya


HA 5


IO) 筆者に何か一言お願いします!
Something say to me?


平野さん) 僕に興味を持って頂いて、このような機会を頂けた事に感謝しています。
Thanks for giving me this opportunity and have an interest in what I do.


Akira Hirano


After I actually met him a while ago, with our hour-long conversation, on a super-windy day, I was in the state of super nerve-wracking because how the hell am I supposed to do the interview with someone who spend a lot of time on doing what he pursue versus me experimenting on what I do. I was really scared to so this interview as well as I was so psyched to get to know how he embrace his creativity. It turned out that it was much more than what I have expected plus it was so much fun to hear his attitude toward his creation. I am blessed to have this interview so much that I had to give something back to him for the sake of his support for me.


少し前に実際お会いして、お話をさせて頂きました。詳細はVrs 3で詳しくお伝えさせて頂きます。こう、なんというか、緊張と興奮が一度にぶわっとやってきてテンパってしまいましたが、非常に中身の濃いお話、そして情熱に溢れる姿勢を汲み取れたような気がします。それでもこちらの事にも気を使って頂き、感謝の気持ちが自宅に帰って溢れてきました笑。後ほどお伝えさせて頂きますのでよろしくお願いします。


Copyright of Pictures (C) Akira Hirano All Rights Reserved.


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