Discovering the Unique Charms of Made-in-Japan Leather Shoes: A Look at 9 Japanese Brands

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Discovering the Unique Charms of Made-in-Japan Leather Shoes: A Look at 9 Japanese Brands

When it comes to leather shoes, we tend to focus on overseas brands such as England, Italy, and the U.S., but we should not overlook leather shoe brands that are the pride of Japan. In addition to their superior quality, Japanese leather shoes have unique charms that cannot be found in foreign brands, such as lasts that fit the shape of Japanese people’s feet. In this issue, we will introduce an overview of the development of the leather shoe industry in Japan, the characteristics of made-in-Japan leather shoes, and the brands that produce high-quality items.

Origins of the Japanese leather shoe brand “developed from the military shoe factory that was the predecessor of Regal.”

Japanese leather shoes were born at the end of the Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji era. It is said that the dawn of the Japanese leather shoe industry began when Katsuzo Nishimura, a samurai of the former Sakura Clan, opened “Isekatsu Shoes Factory” in Tsukiji to manufacture military shoes at the request of Masujiro Omura, the founder of the Japanese Army, in 1801. Initially, the company tried to procure military shoes from imports, but the sizes did not fit Japanese people’s feet at all, so the company decided to manufacture them domestically. Incidentally, this Isekatsu Shoemaking Factory is also the origin of ” REGAL,” Japan’s leading brand of leather shoes. The demand from the private sector increased from the 1950s to the 1970s after the end of the war, when European leather shoes were imported and Japanese leather shoes for the private sector were produced and supplied in large quantities.

Characteristics of Japanese leather shoes brands ” Increased design in the reliable technology and careful craftsmanship that only Japan can offer.

The careful craftsmanship and techniques unique to Japanese craftsmen are the essence of Japanese leather shoe brands. The “Yahuzu finish,” in which the sides of the koba are shaped to make the sole look sharp, is an obvious example. Another strength of the company is its production technology as a so-called OEM manufacturer. The company is a world pioneer in the introduction of pattern-making for mass production.

However, leather shoes have not taken root in Japan as a mature culture because the unique Japanese “shoe-removal culture” has led to a demand for “shoes that are easy to put on and off” rather than “high-quality shoes. Since the 1990s, however, the style of wearing high-quality leather shoes for many years while allowing them to become accustomed to one’s feet has gradually spread, and together with improvements in the design of Japanese brands, high-quality domestic leather shoes have been attracting attention.

Let us introduce you to some Japanese leather shoe brands that have been attracting attention!

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