Representative of Kikkabo
< 03, May, 2014 >
There is a leather shoe maker named “Kikkabo” in Kyoto. Like Kawageta and Tabi, they have produced many kinds of shoes just like fusions of Japan and the Western. Why did you select Kyoto as their workshop? How has the air of the place acted in their works? Then, we have interviewed with Nojima Kousuke; the representative of Kikkabo.
■ I am happy to see you, sir. Your leather shoes now and then look like a fusion of Japan and the Western. They used leather because they used to have meat and leather shoes were basically born as a spin‐off of eating meat. Japanese hardly did it and had usually put on zori and warazi.
Nojima Kousuke: I just agree. I believe it is natural Japanese produce such shoes, viewing our history of these 150 years. I was basically interested in traditional types of shoes from United Kingdom.
■ I heard you belonged to a ladies' shoe maker in Tokyo.
N: Destiny made it. I was so interested in fashion. Somehow I thought I was able to pioneer in the field of shoes. I knew Asakusa was the best place of shoe making in Japan and moved to there. And then, I knocked on the door of the company by chance. Naturally, they never accepted me because I had never been in the field, nobody recommended me, and I belonged to nothing at the time. I desperately held on and I broke into their company.
■ That is you got the key to shoe making. Did you already have any idea about Kawageta and the like?
N: Zori of leather was already in my idea at the time since I thought “there are no shoe makers whose theme is Japan.” I worked at a ladies' shoe maker and then, I learnt a lot about design. Above all, I am a Japanese man and so Kawageta was born.
■ Ladies have more types of shoes than men. Now, it means you made the first Kawageta before you established Kikkabo, right?
N: Right. I held my first exhibition in Tokyo and Kawageta was already there. Little paid attention at the time.
Nojima Kousuke: Representative of Kikkabo
Address: 111-2 Keikain-cho Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 602-8406 Japan