After a week in Shanghai at the All China Leather Exhibition a trip to the traditional area of Japan (watch this video to see what I am going to be looking for) is quite contrast.
Being in Shanghai at this time is to be absolutely at the leading edge of the commercial and technical changes going on at this moment in the world, with the transition of China from a producer to a consumer nation at the lead of all the changes.
Japan is not without its leading tanneries, with companies like Midori autoleather a typical example. Yet it is also an opportunity, better than most other places in the world, to understand the historical development of leather and its place in society. Technology also rarely dies, but it moves on, and often has future value when combined with contemporary knowledge and new materials.
Do have a look at the video as I will be working in Japan with Professor Yuko Nishimura who made it and is leading this project of placing an understanding of history in a meaningful. And of course the craft aspect of leather making is becoming increasingly important in the more exclusive area of luxury goods.