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“HARAPPA” and Harayama Textile Factory
HARAPPA Co., Ltd. Was established in March 2015, by two persons who were motivated to succeed the enterprise of Harayama Textile Factory, an Aizu Momen cotton textile factory that kept its reputation and business for 120 years until the unfortunate discontinuation; Taisei Ono, a cousin of the former president of the factory, and Nana Yamasaki of “YAMMA SANGYO,” who has been creating a line of clothing primely using the Aizu Momen textile.
With the cooperation from many people who love the textile, the company strives to restore and reproduce the Aizu Momen textile. After the passing of the former president who was also in charge of the dyeing process, they had been outsourcing the dyeing to other factories. However, in 2019, with the renovation of the dyeing studio completed the previous year and a new generation of dyers matured, they have finally come to their complete recovery, as the factory that performs everything “from dyeing to weaving” – the same as the former Harayama Textile Factory.
The history of the Aizu Momen textile dates to the Azuchi-Momoyama period (late 16th century). For four hundred years, the textile has been improved in the harsh inland climate - scorching hot summer and heavy snowing winter - of the western Fukushima Prefecture and has been loved by the locals as the cotton textile that keeps cool in the summer and warm in winter.
The main purpose for the textile was Nora-gi, or working clothes, daily wear. Nothing fashionable whatsoever but strong and durable; that was how Aizu Momen would be characterized.
HARAPPA intends to be a responsible successor of the policy held by the Harayama Textile Factory, endeavor to develop its business to be the crosslink to the future generations, and tackle new challenges, so that the 400 years of tradition can continue to be passed on to the next hundreds of years.
There used to be over 30 factories of Aizu Momen in the town of Aizu during the golden age, but only two stands today. HARAPPA inherited one of those two. The importance of continuing tradition is above reason. We should not just stand still and keep watching it being culled out just because it does not fit the “present” time when rationality and profitability prevail. What is “present” anyway? When looking back at “present” from the future, would we be really sure that we were doing what we were supposed to do, or that we were not making any mistakes? Those are the issues HARAPPA continues to contemplate on.