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The inventor of "MATSUEMON-HO". Born in Takasago, the birthplace of Kuraku Matsuemon, he carried out various activities to revitalize the local area in addition to running the family paint business. In 2009, he set up the "Takasago Brand Association" and worked to revitalize the region. When he was devising regional brand products, he learned of the existence of the Takasago-born Kuraku Matsuemon and Matsuemon Sail canvas, set about reproducing this, and succeeded in doing so in 2010. In 2011 the Takasago Brand Association non-profit organization was certified, was re-established as the Takasago Product Association NPO, and began sending the Matsuemon Sail products that it had successfully commercialized out into the world. Furthermore, in order to build up the brand value and product value of Matsuemon Sail, he established a base in his hometown of Takasago that would carry out material production, product manufacture, and product sales in a combined factory, office, shop, and sewing location. In 2016 he established Mikageya Co., Ltd. Weaving craftworkers from the textile industry towns of Nishiwaki and Taka were invited as lecturers to teach employees and enable the production of material. Then sewing craftworkers were welcomed from a company in Toyooka, a leather production town, so that products could be manufactured. And that brings us to the present. In future, there are activities planned with the aim of further expanding the Matsuemon Sail brand, not only in Japan but also by making approaches overseas.
Takasago city is located in the southeastern part of Harima in Hyogo Prefecture, an industrial city where factories line up in the Harima Nada coastal area. It is an historic town where you'll find symbols of married couples growing old together, such as the Noh song "Takasago", the traditional waka poem "Aioi no Matsu" (The Twin Pines), or the famous elderly couple Jo and Uba (the Japanese version of Darby and Joan). Fishery and quarrying are also prosperous, especially Takasago's "Anago"(eel) is one of delicacies since long ago because of its taste, and its taste is still handed down today. There are plenty of high-quality stones that are easy to process and hard to weather, these are called "Tatsuyama stone" and are highly recognized.
"Completion" is not a "goal"
At Mikageya Co., Ltd. we have taken the "MATSUEMON-HO(Sail)" canvas invented by Kuraku Matsuemon in the Edo period and uniquely reproduced it, turning it into the bags and accessories that we sell. Currently, we have prepared the facilities to be able to make the material and manufacture the products in-house, and this operation has just begun. A weaving factory has been set up on the first floor, with the introduction of various machines related to weaving, and as much work as possible is done in-house. In addition, industrial sewing machines, leather skiving machines and other machinery required for the manufacture of products were introduced, and a sewing area was set up on the second floor to allow products to be manufactured. In a new style that combines an office, shop and factory, it handles almost everything from production to sales. In the future, there will be further development and a certain level of mass production will be possible.
What do you have with your hands when they are free?