| ─You are from Tochigi prefecture. Looking at your profile, you can see that there were quite a few twists and turns until the creative activities of Gamaguchi.|
There was (laughs). I went to two universities, a foreign language course and a law course, and dropped out of both (laughs).
When I was in high school when I was thinking about going on to higher education, I was actually quite hesitant. Ever since I was little, I have been very interested in words and liked to think about things logically.
Under such circumstances, I chose a university with a very interesting linguistics professor who strongly thought, "I want to join this professor's seminar!" I understand (laughs).
I went back to my original intention of wanting to go to a university in Kyoto, and started all over again from the entrance exam.
─Why are you interested in Kyoto?
When I was in junior high school, I was shocked when I touched the classics for the first time.
Whether it's "The Pillow Book" or "Tsurezuregusa", I was surprised to see a world unfolding in my daily life that had grown up in the mountains of Tochigi.
When I realized that this was the original view of the world in Japan, I always thought that the only way to get to know Japan was to dive into the world of the classics, in other words, go to Kyoto.
─ So, your long-cherished wish came true, and you went to a university in Kyoto.
In Kyoto, I took entrance exams for the Faculty of Law and an arts university, and both passed, so I was troubled again.
As for the law, my uncle was a public prosecutor, so I was familiar with the law, and I was attracted to the work of being able to help people using the logically organized language of law.
On the other hand, I also liked art, so I thought it would be nice if I could create a warm world with words and pictures that didn't require the law.
In the end, partly because of my pocket money (laughs), I went on to study law.
- But then comes another turning point.
I was very happy to be able to come to Kyoto.
But I had a hard time taking criminal law classes at university. I'm just going to look at past crimes and sentences, but Atsuhei is always doing something, and every day is a suspense theater on Tuesdays (laughs).
I'm tired of it, and I've come to think that I'm better suited for a job where I don't feel like that, rather than in such a muddy world.
Although I had given up on art college, I continued to study graphic design on my own, so I brought that work to an interview and was hired as a web designer at a company that manufactures and sells purses.
─The encounter with Gamaguchi is here.
Before that, something fateful happened. My great-grandmother passed away just when I was wondering if I should take a different path from law.
At the funeral, my grandmother brought out a purse that she loved to put in the coffin.
I couldn't put it in the coffin, so I took it home as a memento. When I got a chance to work with a gamaguchi company, I looked at the gamaguchi again and thought about it.
In the world of law I'm studying now, crimes are happening every day, but I don't think my great-grandmother would go out and kill someone with this purse (laughs).
Rather, it is something that exists in everyday life in peace while thinking about what to make tomorrow for the family and what to do for them. I thought that making a purse is to make something that fits in with such a calm life.
That's when I got the feeling that it might be okay to use a clasp. I think now that my great-grandmother gave me such a connection.
| Mr. Ogawa still treasures his great-grandmother's memento purse. "It's well-made and has a good taste after being used a lot." |
| A variety of handbags made by Mr. Ogawa. I handle everything from buying fabrics, making patterns, to sewing. |
|A purse that has been finished up to the stage before attaching the metal fittings. |
| The outer material and lining of the purse are different, and the combination is also a highlight of Mr. Ogawa's sensibility. |
| The fabrics used include rare imported ones and dead stock ones, as well as a wide variety of production areas, materials and tastes.|
Taking on the challenge of a handicraft market that foretold one's own future
─So you learned the know-how of making gamaguchi there.
I joined the company as a web designer, but it was a small company, so when I had free time, I would step on the sewing machine, and I was even allowed to participate in new product planning meetings.
It was fun in its own way, but all the ideas I came up with were rejected due to constraints such as cost.
Frustrations built up little by little, so I soon left the company and entered Ryohin Keikaku to reconsider what I really wanted to make and the starting point of manufacturing.
However, two years after joining the company, the shopping facility where the store was located closed, and I retired. So I thought of making a coin purse as an option to start something independently.
I felt a connection with my great-grandmother, and I couldn't make what I wanted to make at my previous workplace. When.
After deciding how much “pocket money” I had, I decided to collect materials, make a purse, and open a shop at a handmade market. So, if the sales fall below the pocket money I had prepared at the beginning, I decided that it wasn't my role to make purses.
─It was just around the time that the handicraft market began to attract attention in Kyoto.
Chionji's handmade market was starting to become famous. But I decided to make my debut at the handicraft market held at Myorenji Temple in Kyoto.
The name recognition, the number of stalls, and the number of visitors were suddenly small, but the stall fee was 300 yen cheaper than Chionji (laughs).
Anyway, I made a bag that I could make and opened a store. Then they sold out.
Then, next time, I made a little more and opened a store, and it sold again, and my pocket money increased. .
Next year will be exactly 10 years since I started making purses.
|A handmade market where creators and users can communicate directly. Attractive creators will continue to spread their wings from here. This image shows the "Kamigamo Shrine Handicraft Market" in May 2008 (Mr. Ogawa is on the left of the image). Mr. Ogawa was blessed with various encounters that led to his current success through the handicraft fairs held at shrines and temples in Kyoto City.
─ Right now, it's a mess (laughs). I would like to ask what happened during those ten years.
No, really, it's all about repeating happy encounters.
Thinking back on it now, my first place was Myorenji, and I think it was a big opportunity for me to open up my own path.
I also met Mr. Tabata of the craft cafe. After that, I opened stores at Chionji Temple and Kamigamo Shrine. I was able to
Since I started living in Ajiki Alley, I have been interviewed more often, and I think more people know about me.
─ You moved your base to Onomichi for a period of time, didn't you?
When I traveled to Onomichi alone, I talked to people I met, and they told me that Kyoto is good because there are shops and writers who like to use machiya, and people gather there.
There are old folk houses in Onomichi, but they are just decaying. There are many people who enjoy walking around town, but there are no people who live or use it.
It was a really nice place, so I wanted to help somehow.
Luckily, I could do my job with a sewing machine and fabric, so I thought I could do something by moving here first, so I bought a house and started living there.
However, after about a year and a half, the house was in a situation where I could not repair it with my pocket money, so I gave up living there.
However, I still keep my house as it is, and I continue to interact with Onomichi by providing my work for exhibitions and participating in events.
| Another base of Mr. Ogawa's, Onomichi's atelier. Due to the heavy rain disaster in the summer of 2016, it seems that it has become difficult to live in, but it is currently being used as a place for exhibitions of Onomichi's craftsmen's works (image provided by Mr. Ogawa).|
I want to share my warm feelings
─ So your activities are expanding through connections with people.
It's fun to meet and visit various people now, regardless of work or hobbies.
My creator name "poussette" means "stroller" in French.
When I thought of a name that could express myself, I had always loved cars, so I came up with the idea of a stroller, the first car people ride in.
There are places you can go and worlds you can experience only because you have a car, but you can't move around with a stroller alone. Only when you have a warm connection with the person who pushes you, you can be taken to various worlds.
I chose this word because I thought it would be wonderful to be able to peer into a new world with people like that.
Actually, before I met Gamaguchi, I gave it a name when I started creative activities when I was a student, and the first thing I worked on was music.
─What kind of things do you want to share with others through your creative activities?
What I live for and who I live for is my top priority.
It sounds formal, but at the end of the day, when you take a bath or before you go to bed, when you look back on "today", who did you meet? I'm going to ask myself.
Saying yes will make you feel so fulfilled that you won't even have to wake up tomorrow. Every day is a repetition of that.
There are times when it's painful, and sometimes it's tough, but I strongly want to accept it and live on a daily basis.
I can't live today again, so I want to live without regrets. And I want people to live their lives with the same satisfaction every day.
I hope to be able to communicate that through my creations.
─Are there any purses that you would like to make in the future?
Nowadays, we all take it for granted that we carry assets such as wallets, certificates, licenses, and information media. I want to make something that can be carried around with peace of mind by putting it all together.
At the root of my craftsmanship is the idea of "a life without carrying unnecessary things", and I want people to enjoy carrying as little luggage as possible.
That's why, just by wearing it, you'll have everything you need, and you won't forget anything, and you won't feel uneasy.
It would be great if I could create an item that is a container but not like a container, a wallet that doesn't look like a wallet, but something that is necessary for me.
| A purse made of leather, which is currently being challenged. This is tanned leather that can be enjoyed over time. |
| This is a 2-piece purse wallet made from Himeji cowhide. I look forward to further developments in the future.|
─ That's interesting. Lastly, what do you think is important to Mr. Ogawa when making things?
From the first time I went to a handicraft market, I was happier on the day I met a customer who I thought would continue to use my items for years, rather than how many sales I made.
In the end, for me, it's not about whether or not I can make money, but whether or not I can help people, and what's more important is whether or not it's a job that only I can do.
Right now, I'm trying to convey my desire to live happily and without regrets every day through a familiar tool called a gamaguchi, but there is no answer to making things.
I myself am always skeptical and looking for answers. As long as we receive requests from our customers, we believe that there is something we can continue to convey. , always impose on yourself. To do that, you have to keep going.
─ I hope that Mr. Ogawa's thoughts will be conveyed to as many people as possible. Thank you for today.
This October, Mr. Ogawa celebrated the 15th anniversary of his creative activities under the name poussette.
No matter how famous he became, his sincerity in valuing each connection and his earnest attitude of continuing to create with a strong desire to be of help to others left an impression on me.
I would like you to touch the work and feel the message that was put in it.
(Interview date: September 16, 2016 / Text: writer, Kiyo Morimoto)
Profile of Daisuke Ogawa, poussette
|| Born in Tochigi Prefecture in 1978. After studying linguistics and criminal law at university, he worked at a miscellaneous goods sales company and also worked on design-related work on his own. Lived in Kyoto since 2000.
He started designing on a computer by himself when he was in elementary school. In 2001, as poussette, he worked on graphic, web, and product-related designs, and at the same time presided over the creator unit "atelier+" (suspended activities in 2004).
From 2007, he started full-scale production of Gamaguchi making use of the know-how he acquired at a Japanese miscellaneous goods production company. In 2016, he moved his atelier to Ichijoji, Kyoto. In addition to fabrics, he also makes handbags using leather.
poussette item list
It's just the right size for storing small items such as lip balm, hair ties, and accessories.
It is large enough to fit everything you need, such as your wallet, mobile phone, and compact digital camera.