Rana Hashimoto

I came to Japan from Bangladesh 23 years ago. Now I live in Katsushika , a suburban area in tokyo and run my own Japanese Beef BBQ restaurant.
My country, Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. Civil wars and the independent war from India lead us to become one of the poorest countries in the world. 1964, when I was born, was the hardest time for us to live in Bangladesh.

"Can we eat something today?" was our main concern back then. Therefore, when it came to bags or shoes, there was no time to pay attentions to the quality or fashion trends. The only thing that mattered was how strong it was and how long it would last. Bags were seen only as a means to carry items, and shoes were kept and worn until holes developed.

When I arrived in Japan, I was surprised to find such a high quality of attention to detail. So many craftsmen with such a high standard of craftsmanship that goes into producing all their products were something I had not experienced. When an order for 100 items is placed, the Japanese craftsmen's goal is for zero defects. This is a level of quality that amazes me.

6 years ago i was invited to go to a leather shoe factory for a special sale. I purchased 4 pairs of REGAL shoes, a Japanese brand famous for their quality leather shoes. They are so well made that 2 out of the 4 pairs I bought are still in use.

Needless to say, Japan is well known as good quality and a high level of skills and these attributes make Japan very attractive in the global market. “PORTER” (Yoshida) is a good example. I remember when I purchased a bag from PORTER I promised myself, someone who grew up in one of the poorest countries and was accustomed to use something until it completely broke, that i would take care of it very well.

I believe that customers shop or choose items with 2 different perspectives. One perspective is to spend lots of money for expensive items and use them forever. The other is to buy cheaper items and keep them for 1-2 years. It may seem that purchasing cheap items saves you a lot of money, but in the end the short product life and constant replacements might end up costing more. I have broken cheap shoes and bags in a short time, even though I wanted to take care of them when I bought them.

Not to go on a tangent, however I believe that owning good quality products for a long time is essential form the perspective of the environmentally friendly issue. It is easy to buy mass production items and dump them away when they are broken, but the spirit of taking care of your items is also very important.

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