KOGEI & Me

Yoshihiro Hoshino

星野 昌弘

Paper will never cease.

Mr. Hoshino has been working in Haibara of Nihonbashi area for more than half a century. He joined the company as a part timer at the age of 19 years old. During his apprenticeship, Mr. Hoshino worked under a manager called “Banto” who was very much older than him. Banto was rather stern but he did bring him out to have fun after work, recalled Mr. Hoshino fondly. His first job was as a delivery boy bringing paper products to Japanese restaurants as well as to the homes of a long line of prime ministers. Through his work, he learned about the production process and different types of paper. As time went by, Mr. Hoshino became a manager and progressing to the position of a general manager. From the years of uncertainties after the war, through the years of bubble economy, as times changes and the demands and application of paper has changed, Mr. Hoshino feels that the paper will always be needed. “Paper can hand down history to the next generation and it is closely related to the culture of its time. No matter how the world changes, paper will never cease”. Mr. Hoshino is handing down to the modern era the preciousness of paper.

紙はいつまでも途絶えることがない

日本橋の榛原で半世紀以上を務める星野さんは、19歳のときにアルバイト店員として入社した。徒弟制度があった当時、榛原には親ほど歳の離れた番頭たちがおり、星野さんは仕事と遊びの楽しさを教わったそうだ。最初の仕事は、料亭から歴代の宰相宅まで幅広いお得意様への配達仕事。配達を通じて、紙の生産地や種類などを学んだ。やがて、星野さん自らが番頭となり、総支配人にもなった。戦後の混乱期からバブル時代を経て、時代の変遷とともに、求められる紙の用途は変わったが、いつの時代にも必要とされてきたという実感がある。「紙は歴史を伝えるものであり、文化とも密接です。どれほど世の中が変わり続けても、紙が途絶えることはないでしょう」。そう語る星野さんは、変わりゆく日本橋の街の姿を見続けながら、改めて紙の大切さを今の時代へと伝えようとしている。

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