Interview & Report
Interview & Report

ISAMI CO., LTD.

ISAMI CO., LTD.

introduced by WHIZ LIMITED / THIS IS MY PARTNER vol.2

The martial arts equipment manufacturer Isami has its own production plants in Kuki and Kazo Cities, Saitama Prefecture. Experienced craftsmen handle all the processes from selecting materials to giving the final touch in a dedicated commitment to local production in Japan, the nation of martial arts.

ISAMI CO., LTD.
Kuki City, Saitama Prefecture/ Established in 1932 / Scope of business: General Manufacturing of martial arts supplies, Business promotion / No. of employees: 80 persons(incliding 34 sewers)

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ISAMI CO., LTD.
President and CEO Takehiro Iso

[introduce Designer]
WHIZ LIMITED
Hiroaki Shitano
“I have personally known Iso for many years, but our desire to collaborate has finally come true thanks to the theme of this season’s collection.”

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Cross-industry collaboration brought about by dedicated commitment

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Isami has been a manufacturer specializing in the field of martial arts for over 80 years, earning absolute trust from a large number of athletes in the process.

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Iso speaks of the importance of ‘determining materials and textures from users’ point of view’ in manufacturing martial arts equipment.  Isami’s workforce includes those who have played martial arts before and even former professionals.

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Iso himself has experienced Kyokushin Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Numerous skilled craftsmen in the company engage in patterning, cutting and sewing for martial arts garments at the Kuki Factory.

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Canvas, quilts and other fabrics come from a selected group of Japanese suppliers.  The Kazo Factory is used for producing leather goods including gloves, mitts and sandbags.

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Under Iso’s philosophy that every employee should pursue their passion to create, the company has developed a series of products including stretch Karate uniforms and lightweight Judo uniforms featuring special quilting. Yet, in this day and age, it is not easy to continue domestic production with no outsourcing.Labor shortages at the factories were emerging as a major issue, when Iso took the helm of the company in 2012.

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Immediately after becoming the president, Iso asked the craftsmen at the factories whether the company should maintain its 100% in-house manufacturing policy in the increasingly challenging market conditions.  Faced with the biggest question, they still expressed their desire to keep on going.

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The factory manager said, “Even though it is not an easy path, we want to stick to the philosophy of in-house manufacturing.  We cannot supply products to customers if we are unsure about their quality.”  His words reflect the craftsmen’s strong commitment to quality.   Isami’s unflagging dedication to manufacturing has been refined over three generations of leadership.  This season, the dedicated team will collaborate with WHIZ LIMITED’s world to make a debut in the fashion arena.

 

Interview&Text:Shinya Miyaura (Secori Gallery)
Photography:Yohey Goto

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