March 26, 2012
Hello. My name is Jeffrey. I come from New Jersey State and when I came to Japan, I first worked at a foreign language school, but now, while running an IT company, I’m taking part in musical activities in Ibaraki. I am living very happy days.
As I am having my article published on a leather homepage, I tried to cite things that came into my mind about leather.
‘My favorite suede jacket’, ‘James Dean, ‘leather jackets’, ‘baseball gloves’, etc. Now, as for that last one, ‘baseball gloves’, when I played catch ball with my child the other day, I smelt the smell of this glove and remembered many things from when I was a child. Then, I felt very nostalgic.
When I was a child, I was truly surrounded by a lot of leather. Because my parents were from Texas, when I went to my grandparent’s home, there was the saddle and bit used for horse riding, and cowboy boots plus a leather hat. In my parent’s home too there were normally leather jackets, work boots, a cigar case, mounted animals and I also recalled that above all, I loved leather gloves.
The memory of your childhood is a mysterious thing, so even now the soft feeling of leather, or if I smell the exquisite smell of leather, the cool appearance of cowboys I saw in my childhood, and the fun memories of horse riding come one after another, and when it comes to leather, only good memories come to mind.
I came to Japan and of course I like and am using leather products like bags and shoes, however, I realized there isn’t much leather in the immediate surroundings of my life. America, and especially my home state of New Jersey, is a place that has a culture of using leather a lot from a long time ago, including in clothing. When I was a child, many leather products were sold in the neighborhood shop, and just like normal cloth and plastic, it was used in many things like clothes, accessories and stationery. All the adults naturally used leather products, and they were always in a place within reach. When you touched them they were soft, (there were some hard ones too) and they smelt of leather.
In Ibaraki now, when it comes to shopping, people go to Ito-Yokado. There, I mindfully looked at the leather products but apart from school bags, there were hardly any other leather products sold that children use. In addition, for things that adults use too, there are hardly any products apart from shoes and bags. Wallets and belts were being sold, but the smell is different and synthetic leather is not real leather. When comparing America and Japan, the price of leather products is very expensive in Japan, so I guess everyone can’t buy them easily. Especially for children, I had a feeling that when it comes to leather, there are only school bags and baseball gloves. When I investigated on another occasion, the school bag in our house wasn’t real leather. As for my child, they probably don’t know the smell of leather.
I wonder with what smell the children of nowadays will remember their olden days. Upon writing this article, I realized anew that by smelling leather, I recall my childhood. Today, I will put my leather gloves by my side from now on, and I think I will write a song while remembering those fantastic days. Thank you very much for reading.
How Japanese Leather products are perceived by foreigners living in
Japan and Japanese overseas?
“Mekakushi” from outside may shed a light on and help you open the eyes to the undiscovered.
- Vol.16 Japanese Leather - Full of Surprises!
- Vol.15 Leather goods of South Africa have taken root in my life
- Vol.14 Traveling life lightly: A Permaculture Designer's experience with Japanese leather
- Vol.13 As tough as leather
- Vol.12 In France, taking off shoes is the same as taking off clothes
- Vol.11 In Praise of Pen Cases
- Vol.10 Japanese leather products in the eyes of an English gentleman
- Vol.9 Awareness for leather product
- Vol.8 The appeals of the leather bags made in Japan
- Vol.7 From the smell of leather―To those nostalgic days
- vol.6 Mainland shoppers towards Leather Products
- Vol.5 Readily Available or a luxury- the leather culture difference between Korea and Japan.
- vol.4 Japan Leather Award 2011
- Vol.3 Professional Pride in Monozukuri
- Vol.2 My first encounter with Japanese leather
- Vol.1 Hidden Treasure