Maruishi Industry Co.,Ltd.
Year of establishment
Type of industry
Shinaori fabric and goods
23-39 2-chome Oyama Tsuruoka Yamagata Japan
Person in charge
T E L
F A X
Main selling channels
https://shinafu-english.com/ In-house store, Department store, Gallery, EC site
Makoto Ishida founded Shinaori Sogei Ishida in 1990 to preserve shina fabric for future generations, believing that the fabric represented a true national legacy.Ishida's momentous first encounter with shina fabric, woven in his home prefecture Yamagata, actually happened in Tokyo when he was aged 20.Although finding the fabric curiously compelling, Ishida learned that the future of shina fabric was not looking very bright despite its superior material properties—production was in danger of dying out due to lack of practitioners, and applications were limited to souvenirs and folk knick-knacks.Ishida eventually produced hats capitalizing on the superior breathability of the fabric; and handbags likewise capitalizing on the fabric's light weight and durability after studying the possibility of nationally and internationally promoting this fabric by offering high-quality products that made full use of its superior material properties.He tirelessly studied and paid close attention to style as well, developing and creating extremely stylish fashion items with contemporary sophistication as well as traditional beauty.These products, marrying an ancient fabric with contemporary design sensibility, gradually found their way to department stores and specialist stores in major Japanese cities, leading to greater appreciation of and interest in shina fabric.
Shina fabric, woven from the bark fibers of linden trees (tilia maximowicziana and tilia Japonica) is one of the country's oldest woven textiles.Production from stripping the bark to weaving takes almost a whole year, and all stages are performed manually.Because of its labor-intensiveness, production has died out in all but three hamlets bordering Yamagata and Niigata Prefectures.These mountainous, snow-locked communities survived harsh natural conditions by cooperating with community members to earn their living, to which shina fabric was vitally important—more so than food or housing.There was even a saying that "How many bolts of fabric village women can weave determines how many villagers can survive." Mountain hamlet living was dependent on the blessings of nature, and based on seasonal cycles.Fundamental to locals was the idea that everything needed for living was a gift from the forests and mountains, and that humans were but a small part of nature.This way of thinking was basic also to the coexistence with nature that characterized traditional Japanese lifestyles.Shina fabric, Japan's oldest woven textile, is a perfect embodiment of life in harmony with the natural conditions presented by Japan's mountainous locations, and we delight in our mission of producing products that offer this fabric in contemporary designs.