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siemen bag by Tanejiro Ishii

Mr. Tanejiro Ishii, born in Adachi-ku, Tokyo in 1935, has been making bags for about 70 years. He is still at the forefront of the industry, and is representative of a Japanese leather craftsman, from YOSHIDA & Co.. In 2018, he received the Japan leather goods meister accredited by the JLIA(JAPAN LEATHER AND LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION.)

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Mr. Ishii has been making bags since he became an apprentice to his uncle, a bag maker, at the age of 16.
A day's work begins at 8:30 in the morning. He works on bags on a daily basis until nightfall. “I want to make beautiful bags.” As he cuts leather, adjusts materials, and steps on the sewing machine pedal for this goal, from behind, one can sense his passion and love for his work.

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“The most important thing is to complete something in your mind before you start working with your hands.”
Mr. Ishii says that planning the process in his mind is the key to making things, so as not to waste materials and time.

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Care for tools, the smooth movement of the hands, and strict eyes without compromise. The space of the atelier, where one can feel the length of time of approximately 70 years, has a wonderful atmosphere where commanding presence and Mr. Ishii's gentle gaze intersect.

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The reason why we asked to work with Mr. Ishii was his strong desire to properly pass down his skills to future generations.

The “siemen bag/seed bag” (siemen = “seed” in Finnish), in which Mr. Ishii's skills are incorporated here and there, is made of high-quality leather called crispell calf. It is characteristic of a very beautiful and smooth luster. This leather is a fine-grained material, but in the hands of Mr. Ishii, who is familiar with the characteristics of leather, even when the leather is turned over during the making process such as sewing, he does not apply too much pressure on the leather when processing, so the bag retains its beautiful look.

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The top and bottom zippers, which are also characteristic of the design, have tightly packed elements that create smooth opening and closing, and shine brightly as they trace the form of the bag, highlighting the beauty of its shape. Mr. Ishii inspects each piece of leather that has its own unique characteristic with his eyes and hands and thins it to an appropriate thickness.
He then sews multiple layers of leather together.

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Mr. Ishii's elaborately designed bags are also made to look beautiful when closed, and can be stored without taking much space and losing their shapes. Keeping leather items clean leads to long-lasting use in daily life.

At glance, the bag looks simple, but there are many complicated processes involved in making the “siemen bag.” Mr. Ishii's refined handwork, which is carried all by himself from beginning to end, is truly an accumulation of beautiful techniques.
We hope to be able to deliver the “siemen bag” that transforms everyday life into something special to as many people as possible.

photograph: Hua Wang

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minä perhonen × PORTER “siemen bag” on sale from January 15 (Sat.), 2022

siemen bag L
¥93,500 (tax included)
black / gray beige

siemen bag M
¥77,000 (tax included)
black / gray beige

Available locations and inquiries:
Daikanyama Store 03-6826-3770
galleria 075-353-2217
Online Store
Information desk 03-5793-3700

photograph: Comuro Nonoka

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