Everyone knows where the "meat" of Japanese beef is
Why no one knows the whereabouts of "skin"

The whereabouts of Japanese beef "meat"
Everyone knows,
Why no one knows the whereabouts of "skin"

The synonymous material of the Brooklyn Museum "Yamato". The leather of "All Japan", which has been the beginning of some small discomfort, and is embodied the passion and thoughts on the leather in Kusagaya. This time, we asked the many thoughts in Yamato.

Brooklyn Museum Masahiko Kusagaya interview, Masahiko Kusagaya (Part 1)

■ The problem is where the Japanese beef skin is gone

━ Yamato uses Japanese beef skin, but what was the reason why you decided to use "Wagyu" in the first place?

In fact, there is almost no "purely domestic leather" that uses the skin that has been removed in Japan.

━ But there are leather products made in Japan, right?

The so -called "Japanese leather" distributed in Japan is certainly made in Japan, but most of the raw skin is imported from overseas. It is a common practice to lick the raw skin from all over the world, such as the United States, South America, and Southeast Asia, as a material. About 20 years ago, I thought it was natural.

━ What made you think it was not a matter of course?

A leather shop I met 20 years ago asked, "Where are you using it?" And answered that it was an import, "Why don't you use Japanese skin? Japanese skin is also good. There are so many. " I was surprised. Until then, I didn't have the idea of ​​using Japanese skin.

━ Is it difficult to get Japanese skin?

No, there are many surplus. It's about a large amount of disposal.

━ Are you thrown away! ? Why?

At that time, I was wondering and looked into it in various ways. Then, I could see the "division" surrounding the cows.

Is it division?

Surprisingly, there was no pipe between the livestock industry that raised cows and the leather industry in which we were. In short, there was no distribution route. It is not strange if you think about it normally, but the contact was zero.

━ Do you have no contact! But the skin will definitely be generated in the process of making it for edible meat, right? If people in the leather industry say "I want", I feel like the story is likely to be united immediately.

That's right. However, it seems that none of the industries had been established without doing it, so there was no action from both. Meat beef farmers and dairy farmers would have a living if they sell beef and milk, so it would have been nice to do something there. On the other hand, in the leather industry, it was not necessary to develop a route to purchase domestic skin because it would be better to buy a large amount of cheap raw skin from overseas.

In other words, there is no particular merit in both industries, so did nobody do it so far?

I think so. I thought this was very wasteful.

━ It's a waste. If you throw it away, it will be free, but ...

It's a capitalist country, so it costs money. It is a skin that is thrown away anyway, but it is a part of the cows that were raised with affection for time and effort. By all means, it tends to be more expensive than imported products.

━ Meat is also higher for Japanese beef than imported meat.

I agree. It is the same feeling.

■ Leather gap between Japan and the world that is unknown

━ In Japan, the imported raw skin is the mainstream, but how do you procure the skin material overseas?

For example, Italy is the best in the world of leather products, but naturally uses domestic skin. So in France, Spain and the United States.

━ Cheese is indispensable for Italian cuisine. And meat. Countries that consume a lot of beef tend to have a large amount of leather products.

that's right. In the world, we consume all the meat and skin of the cow in our country. In particular, countries with famous leather products are as important as part of the culture, and the skill level of the people involved is considerable. For example, in Italy, it is not unusual for a long -established tanner that lasts over 400 years. That's why Italian leather is mostly from pure Italy. Every time I see it, I think, "I guess the pride and confidence of Italian craftsmen is condensed here."

Speaking of global brands with strong leather products, Hermes and Vuitton come to mind first, but how about France?

France has not lost to Italy. Do you have a classic image of French cuisine like "veal XX"? In other words, France has a lot of young and firm calves. And we make purely domestic leather materials using it as a material. The lean relationship between food and fashion has been a pulse for hundreds of years ago.

━ It's certainly a lean relationship. Speaking of meat, the United States is a nation -loving state, but is there still a lot of leather products?

It's fulfilling. If you like leather shoes, Tanner Horwin, who will definitely know, is famous worldwide. A company that sells leather to Alden. The great thing about the United States is that there is a European distribution that makes one point, but by creating a raw skin market, mass production is possible to consume mass production and it is possible to monetize it firmly as a product.

で す る consuming a lot of meat with steaks and hamburgers, and the skin that comes out there is also sold out as a material.

There are so many cow skin to sell it to other countries. So the United States is focusing on exports of the raw skin. By the way, many of them are coming to Japan.

I see. In Japan, the skin is abandoned as garbage, but in Europe it becomes a high -quality material that supports the fashion industry in the country, and it is a product in the United States.

Japan consumes beef, but Europeans use up cows, and the United States turns into a major industry, even by -products called raw skin. I want to manage this situation where Japan is doing something very wasteful.

━ The current Japan has not been realized because the livestock industry and the leather industry are divided, but it is used up, like Italy and France, a large leather, and make good leather products for a long time. Is it possible to create an eco -friendly circulation?

I think you can. Now, eco -friendly and SDGs are beginning to penetrate as values ​​worldwide, but I think the Japanese DNA has a "wasteful spirit". Now, I think that if I just forgot a little and remember that spirit, I think the Japanese are the most eco -friendly and SDGs -like ways in the world.

━ What should I do?

From a leather craftsman's point of view, we do what we can do from each standpoint, "do not waste materials," "make a long -lasting product with good materials," and "supplies compatible items for good quality items." I think that you can change the values ​​of society little by little. One proposal is Yamato, a Japanese beef leather.

■ Yamato was a beautiful boy! ?

━ How was your first impression of Japanese beef skin?

I thought the skin was very delicate and fresh. Overseas people often praise that "Japanese people have beautiful skin", but it is said that there are four seasons. Pore ​​opens in the warm season and pores close in the cold season. Our skin is exercising unconsciously. In addition, Japan has moderate moisture. And there is no intense ultraviolet light as overseas. In addition to such a blessed environment, the cow skin that was grown carefully by professional livestock farmers and dairy farmers was exactly the beautiful skin of everyone. This was a big discovery.

By the way, what kind of cow is the ideal cow as a raw skin?

It is a male male grown in a cold area.

━ Dairy cow? And is it a male?

that's right. Meat cows are raised "to eat" larger than what they should have. "Eating delicious meat" that contains sashi is actually growing more than the original state of the cow. So I have to exclude it. Ideally, it is a natural grazing, and it is a cow that eats grass and grows to some extent. The good cow when it is made of skin is a lean muscular cow that does not contain much sashimi. Investigations showed that dairy cow male would be shipped as lean meat at a certain age. So, when I got the skin and processed it, I got something close to the quality I was looking for.

━ It is surprising that dairy cows will be the ideal material!

Moreover, dairy farms are cold areas such as Tohoku and Hokkaido. This also had a great effect on the texture of the skin.

━ Women in snowy countries are said to have skin clean, but is the cow the same?

In fact, cows are the same. It's a male, so it's a snowy kuni boy rather than a snowy country (laughs).

━ What are the benefits of the fine texture of the skin?

The width of the color that can be expressed is completely different. Overseas raw skins are often dyed with pigments during processing. There is a merit that the pigment can be painted with some rough skin, but in order to get more delicate colors, I wanted to dye it with dye. However, the raw skin produced overseas is salted so that it does not rot, so when processing, the salt does not come off and the color does not fit well with the dye.

━ Overseas primary processing has already been done.

On the other hand, the Japanese beef skin has fine skin texture and is not salted because it is domestic. That's why you can use dye to express various colors. It is an overwhelming advantage that there are many colors that can be expressed in manufacturing. Moreover, the feel is good. Watching and touching is an absolute requirement for high quality leather materials. It can be expressed at a high level if it is a Japanese beef.

If you want to make a good thing, it was inevitable to use Wagyu beef skin.

I agree. I think the Japanese -cow leather made by Japanese craftsmen processes the cow skin born and raised in Japan is a world -class material, and "Yamato" should be a pioneer. I think.

■ I want! Leather craftsmen who want to challenge the world

━ What kind of changes do you feel after the announcement of Yamato in 2004?

Thanks to you, I am really grateful that many people are patronized. For many years, I have been thinking about various environments surrounding leather products, but I think that the development of symbolic items in -house has made my “goal” clear.

━ What kind of goal is that?

"I want to deliver the charm of Japanese leather products to the world," I came to clearly think. However, at the same time, I noticed the "big task". There are not enough craftsmen.

━ How many craftsmen are in the Brooklyn Museum now?

Right now, almost three people are turning. Our products are more difficult to compromise from the other items, and the quality is not compromised.

However, it is impossible to reduce the work process or lower the quality level you want.

that's right. If you do not do that "troublesome", you will not be able to give originality, and above all, you will not be able to create "long -use products", which is also our philosophy. So, recently, I have come to think that I have to recruit young people who want to be a craftsman who makes Brooklyn items, not "young people who want to be a leather craftsman".

━ Is the chicken first or the egg first? It's annoying.

At the same time, there is another challenge to be solved. Now, the biggest reason why active craftsmen can't succeed their shops to their children is the severe reality of "I can't make money." Fortunately, I had the store inherited from the predecessor, but I feel that the current situation is not so dreamy. I want to build a system where craftsmen can earn well before I give the baton to the next generation.

━ It's a common problem for the entire industry ...

In order to do this, I want to make Brooklyn a brand that can be purchased by skilled craftsmen, such as Hermes and Vuitton, can buy items carefully made over time. The industry will not be tailored if the customer's ideal is achieved and the craftsmen can get a reward. I want to make that model case.

━ In today's society, there is an air like "cheap is justice". What do you think about that?

I know that there are such values ​​and do not deny. However, even if it is such a world, if we keep raising the ideals we aim, we believe that the person who will be able to meet a craftsman who will sympathize with it and sympathize with his thoughts will be the customer. I am continuing to make it. One day, I hope that the circle of empathy will spread, and people with the same feelings will recall the values ​​that Japanese have forgotten. That's why Yamato also expects a role as a symbol of empathy.

Yamato development secret story

I want to make the world where we live in a natural and reasonable form ...
The "Yamato" created by that belief was a flag that indicated the road.
And what is "Brooklyn Vision" that Kusagaya envisions?

Edit & Interview: Ryuichi Takao