September 14, 2015 We visited Kotaro Tanaka, who is demonstrating his production at Aoyama Square.
Craftsman of Edo Noren: Kotaro Tanaka
Edo noren is a curtain that began in the Edo period. Unlike the curtains made in Kyoto and Nara, they made both those used in Edo Castle, samurai, shrines and temples, which were noble statuses at that time, and those used by ordinary people. It is said that it merged someday and became the present Edo noren.
As a family business from the early Meiji period
Mr. Tanaka is the fifth generation Edo noren creator.
Mr. Tanaka came to make Edo noren because the house originally made Edoren.
There are various kinds of curtains.
“Inner hanging sauce”, “Outer hanging sauce”, “Applied sudare”, “Accessory Sudare”
Such as the kind of the curtain is typical.
Some craftsmen are good at things they are not good at, but Mr. Tanaka can make any of them by hand.
the ingredients go reaping by themselves
I talk to the farmer who is contracted and go to mow the material to use by oneself. Unfortunately, in Tokyo, there are no materials that can be used for curtains, so you have to go to other prefectures.
However, he still observes the method from the teaching of procuring his own.
There is not only one production area for materials to be procured, so it seems that you need to be active to go to the place where the necessary materials are growing at that time.
In an era where curtains are also made by machine
Chinese curtains areAfter coming into books, I started making curtains with machines in Japan. It might have been only that to overcome cheap noren from China.
However, some of them, like Mr. Tanaka, are making handmade curtains that continue to pursue good quality, rather than price games.
Mr. Tanaka says that there is a considerable difference in quality between the noren made by hand and the curtains that are really made by hand. The curtain is packed with the heart of the craftsman.
A variety of curtains to suit modern style
Noren as a coaster
A coaster that can actually be made with this production experience.
The difference in color is because the type of material is different.
Noren as partition
The curtain of the four-fold folding screen is a partition that is perfect for a Japanese-style room.
It enters the class of applied sudare.
Curtains for shades and blindfolds
It is called “gai-nore”, and there are many kinds such as “bamboo”, “reed”, “gogyo”, “hagi”, and “gama”, and the color is different.
Edo Noren as a culture that Japan can be proud of
The pride of craftsmen is to continue to make by hand
Handmade not only takes time and effort, but also requires technology. Amateurs come in casually, and it is not something that can be done in a year or so.
Handmade is inefficient if you look at things under the concept of business, but handmade craftsmen choose this industry as their livelihood instead of doing business.
Livelihoods: Work to live. It is not something to make money.
That’s why Tanaka is particular about handmade Edo noren, which has been around for a long time.
Even if the price is somewhat higher than the noren from China because it takes time and time, the customer still follows. Mr. Tanaka, who never neglects to train what he has decided to be a livelihood, will create such confidence.
Edo noren that has been passed down
When I hear about his successor, he says he hasn’t yet. However, the applicant seems to visit occasionally. However, Mr. Tanaka says that it is not possible to do then by “Because the company work does not fit”, “Because I want to work silently alone”, and “Because I like making things”.
Today’s craftsmen are always required to have a wide range of abilities, from material procurement to production, sales, and direct conversations with consumers. If you are not a person who can improve your abilities after understanding such things, you will not be able to succeed in the future.
Mr. Tanaka said with a laugh, “I will tell the applicant this kind of thing immediately, so it may be difficult for a successor to appear.”
Mr. Tanaka usually comes to Tanaka NorenSho Co., Ltd. If you are concerned about Edo noren, please take a look here.