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■ Featuring "Ice Cream," August 31 to September 29







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■ China is tough on producing specs?

O: Yes. Other countries like Italy have to rely on China when they try to sell at 10,000 – 20,000 yen. Some buyers said “North Korea-made ones are cheaper than China” or “Vietnam-made is, too.” They are in the minority and most still depend on China.


■ I am afraid when it is too cheap. Would you tell me this shop’s average at price?


Oida Kazuto

Manager of Megane Museum's
Optical Shop


Born in 1970 Fukui.
For his father had belonged to,
decided to work in
eyeglasses' industry.
Over various categories of trade
as manufacturing and retail sales,
got installed as the manager in 2011.
By the way, on this photo, he wears a
"Line Art" product by Charmant.
O: Not at all. I always check the past data and it says 25,000 – 30,000 yen for a frame. Including lenses, it is supposed to be around 50,000 yen on average.


■ It sounds not too expensive. Now, according to your speaking, most of the customers are travelers or those familiar with glasses?

O: We also have a lot of young ones like who got a pair of eyeglasses with the initial pay. Some females have come looking for ones comfortable or fashionable. Youngsters haven't lately hesitated to wear glasses for show. I felt so glad by a case that a young group around 20 years old came from Kyusyu through all-night driving, got each pair of glasses, and went back home without taking any side trips.


■ Sounds great! How about foreigners?

O: They come from overseas. Like a group of 20 Chinese rich men came and bought about 30 pairs or a Chinese wealthy man got 5 – 6 pairs right away. Difference between Japan-made and China-made is, it is difficult to see at a look, found in each working process. Japanese use tight screws and spend a lot of effort on coating. Japan is very strict with accuracy. On the other hand, foreigners say “Japan is often late in deliver.” To speak frankly, we would like them to accept because the high quality needs a lot of time.


■ It is said the best glasses make your life so. How about future problems?

O: Fukui has to survive over a lack of successors. We have got some problems like no companies can produce what used to be made or one cannot grow up the successors for pressure of OEM. Since economic downturn precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, the question has been clearer. Most of the famous artisans in Fukui are almost old and their companies are on the verge of extinction without someone to succeed.

O: But I believe rapid depopulation on glasses does not occur. Not denying contact lenses, it is dangerous for the aged to put something foreign on their eyes. So they almost need to wear reading glasses. Moreover, happily, those are loved by youngsters. Things are looking up, I believe. It is never going to better with nothing but high quality, however. What can we add and how should we improve? How will we grow up next generation? We have to solve such questions in Fukui.


Entrance of the Optical Shop

■ Let us wrap it up, thank you very much.

O: The pleasure is mine.


Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei

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