Mr. Shinji Miyata is Hakocho’s third generation head and is currently the president of the company.
“Actually, I didn’t think I would become a craftsman.” Mr. Shinji Miyata said. Originally he thought his older brother would inherit the business but his brother chose to do something different and he took over instead.
Mr. Shinji Miyata reminisced about the decades he’s worked as a craftsman and the biggest changes in trends he’s noticed.
“There are many craftsmen who make things but suffer many hardships trying to sell them. In my opinion, I believe that this is no longer a time when we can make things and hope that people will buy them. Instead, it’s more beneficial to take orders from customers and make the things they want. Of course, even by taking one or two custom orders it won’t affect the total profits but being able to make custom-made goods will increase the craftsman’s skill set and that will enhance the reputation of the craftsman. Also, in many cases we can learn what will be popular by paying attention to the customers’ orders. Customers often have very creative ideas; learning to adapt to what the customers want is at the heart of craftsmanship.”
At Hakocho there is a classroom aimed at letting the general public experience paulownia kimekomi zaiku craftsmanship. There are some students who come year after year and there seems to be an increase in the number of people who want to try making something by themselves.
“Paulownia kimekomi zaiku craftsmanship is an original technique established at Hakocho and I would love to pass on this skill to many people.” Mr. Shinji Miyata said.
Hakocho Co., Ltd.
Address: (Tokyo) Taito, Kotobuki 1-4-5 (shop on Orange Street)
Hours: 10:30am – 7pm
Holidays: Open every day of the year