KOGEI & Me

Kenichi Harada

原田賢一

“enku”, a brand led by dedication

Leather and dye craft artist, Mr. Kenichi Harada had worked as a camera assistant after studying fashion design in Tokyo. He subsequently got a position in the design division of an electronics company where he was taking care of photography of the products. Around that time, he experienced a technical transition in the field of photography from film to digital and that circumstance made him reconsider about his future career. He realized that his work should be something not everyone can do and that is independent of the social trend. From that point on, his challenge of creating craft leather goods started, based on the fact that leather goods were not influenced much by trends. As Mr. Harada is the kind of person who devotes himself single-mindedly to things once decided, he strived hard to acquire the technique of leather dyeing and craft, visiting experts across the country to ask them for instructions. It took only about a year to launch his brand of Japanese indigo dyed leather goods called “enku”. “I am constantly trying to find new combination and discover something new. I want to continue novel ways of making things, by visiting every part of Japan” says Mr. Harada. His quest has no limit. Currently, he has delved into studying plant dyeing and moving forward, is motivated to express the colors of the four seasons of Japan in his leather creation.

実直さが導いた「enku」というブランド

染革作家の原田賢一さんは、東京でファッションデザインを学んだ後、カメラアシスタントを経て、電機メーカーのデザイン部に就職。製品写真の撮影を担当していたが、写真界はフィルムからデジタルへの過渡期にあり、将来について考えさせられたという。世間の流れに風靡されない、自分にしかできないものづくりがしたい。一度決めたらのめり込むタイプの原田さん。トレンドにそれほど影響を受けない革小物づくりへの挑戦が始まった。全国の専門家に教えを請いながら、革の加工と革染めの技術習得に励み、転身から早一年で、藍染め革小物のブランド「enku」を立ち上げた。「常に新しい発見や組み合わせを考えています。これからも日本各地を巡りながら新たなものづくりをしていきたいです」と語る原田さんの探究はどこまでも続く。最近は草木染めの研究を始め、革の上で日本の四季の色を表現したいと邁進する。

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