KOGEI & Me Craftspeople and Their Stories
- Yamanashi Prefecture
“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.