Hataorimachi / Fujiyoshida

How the Forgotten Weaving City Rediscovered its Life’s Purpose

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How the Forgotten Weaving City Rediscovered its Life’s Purpose

Why do we go to work every day? Is it just to survive and make money? Naturally, money is important, but if that’s the only reason you’re working then you’re not living life to the fullest.

This same concept can be seen in a weaving production area in Yamanashi that was prosperous long ago. But when it traded craftsmanship for large sums of money, they also had to forfeit any recognition for their talent. It’s the same kind of situation as someone who willingly sacrifices themselves for their company.

And as they go through the motions, working day to day to pay the bills, one day they might completely forget what they really want out of life. That’s what happened to the weaving town in Yamanashi, and before anyone knew, it was lost to history.

But now, there’s a new generation that’s trying to make a new mark on their city’s history of weaving. They learned from the mistakes of their ancestors and have set their own goals and intentions clearly, along with their unique styles. Their brand concept is simple-- the search for a purpose in life, or “ikigai” in Japanese.

It’s only appropriate that the people of Yamanashi, a province previously called “Kai”, would be the ones who found their “ikigai”. As we introduce their unique brands and creations, I hope this guide will remind you of your own worth and purpose in life.

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