KOGEI & Me

Yoshio Sotokawa

外川良夫

I want to deliver the sound of Orin beyond the object.

Mr. Yoshio Sotokawa moved from his hometown, Toyama city to Takaoka city to join YAMAGUCHI KYUJO Co., Ltd. in 1979 when he married one of the daughters of the Yamaguchi family. As he got involved in the family business, he gradually became fascinated by the deep culture of traditional Buddhist objects that the company deals in. Being an experienced sales person, he not only visits his customers but also the manufacturers. He carries half-finished pieces from the metal casting factory to the processing studios in town and deliver them to his office when they are finished. Normally, the artisans have little chance of seeing the finished product as each process is performed in a different place. In Mr. Sotokawa’s case, he often visits the artisans of each process in order to show them the finished products. He would like to share the sense of accomplishment that their actual products are being sold and by doing so he hopes that this communication will further help in the development of good products and stability of delivery time. He had started this job during the high-growth period of the Japanese economy and sales was good but now, the business situation underwent a significant change and sales can be difficult at times. However, the presence of “Kyujo Orin” which is a new brand of the company encourages his sales activities. “I would say- please stroke it even if it’s just once to hear its sound. I’m selling the sound rather than the product itself, ” says Mr. Sotokawa. He strives to support the progress and evolution of Orin in the world of sound of Kyujo.

物を超えて、おりんの音色を伝えたい

富山市出身の外川良夫さんは、1979年に株式会社山口久乗に入社。結婚を機に山口家の親族となり、この仕事に関わるうちに、伝統的な仏具の奥深さに惹かれていった。得意先への営業の他、高岡市内に点在する鋳造工場や加工を請け負う工房をまわり、商品を受け渡すことが外川さんの主な仕事だ。商品の加工は分業で行われるため、各工程を担う職人たちに完成品を見せに行くこともある。商品が世に出ていく達成感を作り手と共有することで、より良い製品の開発や納期の安定化につなげているという。外川さんが入社した頃は高度成長期の真っただ中で、つくれば売れるという時代だった。今や状況は大きく変わり、ビジネスの厳しさを感じることもあるが、新ブランド「久乗おりん」の存在が自信となり、営業に力が入る。「とにかく一度でいいから、このおりんを叩いて、音を感じてみて欲しい。物を超えた、音の営業です」と話す外川さんは、おりんと共に変革していく久乗の音世界を支えている。

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