DOCUMENTARY FILM / THE ARTISAN’S WORK / 2019 harema©
The first time I visited SHINKI-HIKAKU was in the springtime when I was 22 years old.
Intrigued by an article about SHINKI-HIKAKU that happened to catch my eye, I visited their website, which was a rarity for tanners at the time, and applied for a tour via an inquiry form. I remember as if it were yesterday my excitement when, on the day of my visit, I first entered the tannery.
When I was asked by the President and the Managing Director to produce this documentary and rethink the website, the aforementioned memories of 18 years ago came back to me, and I decided that I wanted to create a finished product that would greatly inspire me if my old self of that time were to experience a time slip to the present.
When I first got started on this project, the first thing I thought was that rather than make an instructional video explaining the process of making cordovan and horsehide in a straightforward manner, I wanted to make a documentary film that, focusing on the President, Managing Director, and each craftsperson, would highlight the people and future of SHINKI-HIKAKU by incorporating their thoughts, feelings, impressions, philosophies, and aims for the future.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who gave up their precious work time during the shoots and said so much in front of several cameras.
Through your words, I learned the importance of earnest dedication to one’s work.
Until the project was completed, I looked back on my first visit of SHINKI-HIKAKU 18 years earlier any number of times: To me who knew nothing, the Managing Director had patiently explained about cordovan; Being young at the time, I made a point of greeting people in a loud and cheerful voice, and I remember the warmth I felt when craftspeople replied “konnichiwa” when I’d greet them when we pass each other and also during the factory tour.
The warmth that I felt at that time has been passed on to the next generation, and I am sure that people who visit SHINKI-HIKAKU now will bring back the wonder and warmth of cordovan.
I hope that many people will watch “THE ARTISANS’ WORK “, and that as many motivated people as possible will wish to work with all the people at SHINKI-HIKAKU. And I sincerely hope that the history of SHINKI-HIKAKU and the goodness of the wonderful cordovan produced by these human hands will be conveyed to many consumers and that the company will continue to travel down the King of Leathers path.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Iwatani and Mr. Miyazaki of harema for their help in completing this wonderful film.
The cameras really captured each person’s cool attitude toward their work, and the best editing was used to show the President’s warm words and the Managing director’s talk about the path that SHINKI-HIKAKU should take in the future. I think the taste and emotion they put into the editing is the reason for this highly finished product and why it is such a great work.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Oda, who worked tirelessly on preparations for the shooting and to confirm arrangements.
Mr. Oda’s attentive considerateness and her calming presence supported the smooth running of the project.
Many people were involved in this project, and we were able to bring together all the wonderful aspects of SHINKI-HIKAKU on this occasion.
I feel proud to have been able to participate in this project. I sincerely hope that SHINKI-HIKAKU will continue to grow by continuing to convey the wonderfulness of its world-class horse leather and the people who work there.
Thank you very much.
July 12, 2019
Hiroshi Yoneda, Executive Director, The Cordvan & Co./p>