Encyclopedia of niime

Enjoyable creation at 'Koshirae kai.'

2019 . 06 . 01

The tamaki niime ‘Koshirae kai’ launched in February of this year and has been held on each national holiday.

So far, we have had natural soy sauce making, indigo dyeing, silkscreen printing, small handcrafts using old cardboard boxes, and cotton seeds sowing. It is a workshop place where various creators are invited to each lecturer, and the participants can enjoy valuable creative experiences.

This time, in the niime encyclopedia, I asked Tamaki and Ryuta Fujimoto, who is one of the ‘tamaki niime’ staff and in charge of this event management, about the new trial; ‘Koshirae kai’ thoroughly.

“We already had the idea of the workshop last year and even named it ‘Koshirae kai’. During company meetings, our staff often talked about it excitingly since we are a creative company. So we have drawn up a plan to start it this year. When we select an instructor, we try to choose the one who fits the sense of our company’s direction.  Something simple that even children can do and adults can enjoy. The basics of creation; people can enjoy and learn through creating. In this part, we would like to hold the events that both participants can be excited.”

“It’s like a creation trial of ‘Hara goshirae kai’.  I think the basic idea is the same.  The difference between food and creation is … the food will be gone. We cannot keep it. It is a disadvantage. At the same time, it is a benefit.  We have been trying to reduce waste, so the ‘creation’ should not be something wasteful.  We want to experience; however, we don’t want to create more garbage. That’s why we would like to hold the workshop where we can create something meaningful.”

“I hope that the workshop should not be just an event. By experiencing it, I hope that the participants keep their creations for a long time. Furthermore, for example, dying recreates old belongings; I hope that kind of experience will make the customers better understand, and they will have a chance to be more interested in ‘creation’. “

– I feel that ‘Koshirae kai’ is an opportunity to lead the people to not only purchasing but also making on their own, as well as reconsidering the modern lifestyle based on mass production and mass consumption.

“Personally, I have two goals in mind. One is to make more people like ‘creation’; leading to the thought, “What is ‘creation’?” by doing it. The other one is that this ‘Koshirae kai’ will become a community event for Nishiwaki and Hie area where people get together and expand its role. Also, for the people who are interested in creation but don’t know how or where to start…I hope to lower the hurdles for them. “

“It’s like ‘a safe haven’ for an emergency, right?”

– For those who want to step into the creative process, right?

“Yes. Many people are looking for this kind of workshop. To express themselves or to make something, for example, dying or cardboard box handcraft. After having held our workshop several times, we realized that more people, even from other prefectures, are looking for this type of workshop if it provides a spark for more people to like this kind of event and gather in the ‘tamaki niime’ Hie district. “

“When we first moved here, didn’t we talk about making this place the community?”

– You’ve been talking about it.

“Yes. Finally, it’s started working. “

“Planning the ‘Koshirae kai’, we ask the instructors who are flying around Japan to give lecturers, we have opportunities to hear various stories.

At the indigo-dyed workshop in March, I talked to the members of “EVERY DENIM” from Okayama. They have events in Tokyo, Kanto area, and the countryside. There are a variety of people and plenty of things in big cities. So if people go there, there is always a community, and they can do something. On the other hand, in the countryside, fifty to nearly one hundred people get together only for a one-day indigo dyeing seminar. I heard that many people want to do something or who don’t know what to do, even who miss the community itself in rural areas. Since we have been holding “Koshirae kai”, now more people come to participate in the event.  So if it becomes more popular, more and more people will come to enjoy it. Rather than holding this kind of activity in other places, I would like to have it here; the real creators who are making things in our company. The participants cannot have real creating experience at any other places. Since this is a lovely place to have an authentic experience, if we propose more exciting plans, the event will be more enjoyable. In this point, We’re gradually building up more of our ideas.”

– The direction of the “Koshirae kai” has been more determined each time, right?

“Yes. Originally, we were considering the global environment. First of all, we started with something anyone can do. Then we should make the event more emphasizes the bond with people. That’s how we are thinking … by degree.”

– By providing an opportunity for the people who want to make things but don’t know how, and have an experience, they may be able to realize their way of making things…

“It depends on the participants, I guess. However, I hope it won’t be just an experience for them…like…it was fun and it’s over… I hope that it changes the way the participants see things. Like…oh, I can do this… It would be nice if the event could open the door. “

– It may lead to a more in-depth view of the ‘tamaki niime’ creation and works.

“Indeed. It is wonderful that people will feel the worth of our creation.”

– Since it is the participants’ handmade, it comes to be the only one creation.

“I think it is enjoyable to use hands. Even small children can experience this. It’s nice. Not only creation but also raising something….So we have tried sowing cotton seed in May. That is very tamaki niime-like. I suggested that it should be a chance for people to start thinking “How cotton grows?” After all, if we have a chance, it doesn’t have to be something to keep. Maybe something to eat…I think it’s okay. For example, it is making soy sauce using natural ingredients. Not only something lasts but the elements for something to eat or something to wear. I hope it makes them start thinking deeper. “

“Since I enjoy creating things by myself and I also like to buy interesting things, I can be both a creator and a customer.  However, most customers usually don’t create things. So they only come to this place as consumers. Now that we have ‘tabe room’, more customers come to see and learn our creations in the lab, have lunch and go home, not just for shopping. We would rather people to know that ‘tamaki niime’ creates things with this kind of thought. So they don’t always have to buy. If our products are just wasted, I would like them not to buy our creations; however, if they use them properly, I would love them to buy. Once I heard that a customer couldn’t come because they don’t shop. She knows the name; ‘tamaki niime’, but she was not interested in fashion, so she had no reason to visit our shop. That is one reason we are trying different things. We would like to have opportunities not just to sell but to share our ideas with people. That’s why we started the first-anniversary event ‘Hitotsu kai’, and it expands ‘tabe room’ and ‘Koshirae kai’. After all, even if they don’t shop, we are happy to see them enjoy visiting and being here. Of course, we are more satisfied if they buy and use our products. If this expands, and someday the people who attended ‘Koshirae kai’ and come to like our creation end up working us, we will be delighted. I guess ‘Koshirae kai’ is part of our trial to make a ‘place for encounter’. “

We will continue talking about ‘Koshiae kai’, creation and the whole concept of ‘tamaki niime’ more to the next time.

Please look forward to the announcement of ‘Koshirae kai’, which will be held on July 15; Marine Day.

Original Japanese text by Seiji Koshikawa.
English translation by Adam & Michiko Whipple.