This castle town in Japan is famous for its 1,000-year-old traditional leather industry
Himeji in Japan is famous for the Himeji Castle, a World Cultural Heritage landmark, as well as a thriving traditional leather industry.travel Updated: Dec 22, 2017 09:29 IST
The castle town of Himeji in Japan continues to uphold its 1,000-year-old traditional leather industry. The town is famous for Himeji Castle, also known as Egret Castle, which has a history of 400 years and has been designated as the first landmark in Japan to become a World Cultural Heritage.
The leather industry grew big in the past, thanks to the beginning of cattle ranching in the scenic region, and because of the production of good quality salt and clean rivers in the nearby areas.
“The leather industry grew up around the castle town of Himeji about 1,000 years ago. Our production starts from the stage where tanning is finished in the factory here. We let the leather dry naturally. The speed of drying and the drying process is different and dependent on weather conditions,” said Shinya Fukumoto, the President of Sansho Co, a manufacturer of leather products.
The industry also employs thousands of Vietnamese workers who have adopted traditional leather production skills. Praising their role in the production, Fukumoto said, “About 30 years ago, we began hiring Vietnamese wrokers. They are very diligent. Today they make up over half of our employees.”
The company has also started an online business and has opened a showroom for the display of products. “We started digitising our business five years ago. There are many customers who want to see our leather skins, so we created this digital showroom for them,” said Fukumoto.
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