Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. This time she goes to Sabae, in Fukui prefecture, known as Japan’s top-producing area for eyeglasses. She visited a very uncommon craftsman who makes nearly all of the parts by hand.
Some 95% of the eyeglasses made in Japan come from Sabae, where manufacturing was first established around 1905. The craft was said to have been passed along by artisans from Osaka as a side business for Sabae’s farmers during the off-season, and it soon took root as an industry there. It’s winterish work, suitable for a snowy region. Mr. Tamio Ido is making metal frames in the tradition of that antique inherited method.
“From drilling to polishing, each step requires different equipment. If you want to make everything yourself, including all of the minor parts, you’re going to need all these machines.”
Mr. Ido voices these words, looking fully the part from behind, while maneuvering a huge, 60-ton press to pound a tiny component, millimeters thick. He works in silence against the sudden clanging of presses, and the dry metallic roar of machines.
“Sun platinum is extremely hard, so pressing it takes a lot of work. And for example, polishing it takes three times what it takes to polish typical alloys. But a deep luster like this can’t be found in any other material.”
“There’s nothing you can say can’t be done. If you think that, you’re done. I have to dare to challenge myself.”
Eyeglass Frames by Tamio Ido
Left / “T-416” WG (White Gold) Right / “T-416” BS（Brushed Silver) Mr. Ido’s frames are sold by Kaneko Megane of Sabae, one of Japan’s top eyeglass makers, as part of their “Artisanal Series”. Kaneko Megane Ten / Ginza store tel: 81 03 6263 8481
Yuka Kashino, known as KASHIYUKA, is a member of the electro-pop group Perfume. Fresh off Perfume WORLD TOUR 4th “FUTURE POP” and Coachella festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the world, the group just announced the release of Perfume The Best “P Cubed” scheduled for Sep. 18, 2019. In preparation for the summer she’s investigating handcrafts from the northern regions.www.perfume-web.jp