episode 00. Felling for leather.


I love, because it's alive.

Kazuya Shiota
Merchandise General Manager, Business Headquarters


From started working at Sanyo, this is my 26th years. My title might be business headquarters, but in case of my company we're doing anything. I started from technician; then I moved to the quality control section. And again, transferred to product development and finally became sales. As a technician, my professional section is finishing. Even today when something happens, my phone will ring.

One year before, I've been a leather technician lecturer, making leather for trade show and listen to the fashion-related customer when they have a new idea along with factory technician job.

Moreover, 「Leather Project」 which proposed in our homepage is the new project that introduces a leather's new possibility. The first wave will begin with 「KINU-KAWA」or "Silk Leather." The next plan is we're going to collaboration with other company to make something together as an open-innovation.

What I'm thinking now is how we can use a captivating point, the "Natural" feeling of leather. If we talked about meat, we have a high-grade part called Shimofuri. It's the same when it comes to leather. Nowadays, makers are going to diverse in their product. Not everyone is going to eat the Shimofuri part. Many creators want to use the originality of animal, such as wrinkle or unevenness of skin as a flavor of leather. And we're a leading domestic tannery, and I think we can response to the demand and create new choices of leather.

The leather is formerly from living thing. Undoubtedly, they have a scar and not perfect. But if we can add some design, I think their cost will increase. Furthermore, because we're a big scale tannery and have a skilled technician, I'm sure we can do it.


Speaking of nature, one of the tanning methods is "Vegetable Tanning." Sanyo has a distinguished "Tanning Pit," which only left in small number among tannery around the world. In general, the characteristic of vegetable tanning leather is hard and firm. With our technique, we can make it soft and smooth with a uniqueness of a colour variation. As a feature of Sanyo, we can provide a Kip skin with organic cotton style "Natural Leather." I think Kip skin which tanned with tanning pit only exists in Sanyo Leather.

The reason I'm working here is because I love an animal. I had applied for a veterinary physician in university exam. Unfortunately, I didn't have a bond with it. Next year in livestock science interview exam, when I told the professor that I want to study in this faculty because I'm an animal lover, "In this faculty we breed, kill and eat it, are you sure?" he said, luckily that I passed the exam. (laugh) In leather making, we "make a use of" animal. The rawhide that we buy is a fresh product. After it passes a tanning process, the touch and smell changed. And people love this feeling of leather.

I want to do anything to tell the value of leather. Now, we have many senior employees in our company, but when a young man come, it's very pleasant. And I'll do my best to make everyone work at ease in this company. It's essential to have every employee proud of our product and why it will be loved.

What we make isn't an artwork. Every item is a lot production. Our mission is to make the reliable product, to make everyone included employee, customer and people who use this leather have a benefit. We'll make the leather that will be loved by a maker, and create a new value to the leather.