Very exciting guest post by Rocky Taniran of mill handmade.
All writing & photography by Rocky, edited & formatted by Indigoshrimp.
About one hour north east of Tokyo lies a little workshop, home to one of our pioneers, Niwa Leathers. Hajime Niwa has been leather crafting for 20 years, starting his journey learning as a bag maker. He is now a master among his peers, famous for immaculate details and playful use of colours.
Despite his fame and extensive knowledge of leather crafting, Niwa still considers himself a simple craftsman and is humble in his soul. Upon entry he greeted me with care and was more than delighted to let me browse his collection and used goods. Despite some of them being over 15 years old they have aged gracefully – full of character and wear. The stitching remains immaculate and his famous edge is a feast for any enthusiast.
Watching him work, it was clear that he treats this profession with the utmost respect, showing no traces of shortcuts or bad form. His execution is precise and clean, a combination which is surprisingly not as time consuming as fixing up little mistakes.
We finished with a cup of coffee and some sweets while talking about his journey. It was an absolute delight to visit this wonderful man, nothing short of life changing and I would not hesitate recommending him to anyone who is looking for high end custom bespoke goods.