top of page


The first thing I dealt with was imported from the United States O'Neill wetsuit

It wasn't until I entered college that I started surfing in earnest. So, the university was in Sangenjaya, Nihon University's Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (currently College of Bioresource Sciences). The reason why I enrolled in the Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture in the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine was because I was not interested in forestry or timber, but wanted to go to Canada. There were so many huge trees growing in the wilderness in Canada, so I wanted to become a trading company man and do the job of exporting Canadian timber to Japan. Born in Zaimokuza, Kamakura and raised in Inamuragasaki, I didn't want to go to the sea, I wanted to go to the mountains. At that time, most of the timber imported by Japan came from Canada, which exported Western Red Cedar to Japan. So, I entered Nihon University's Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine for the purpose of studying forestry management because I wanted to be a representative of a Japanese trading company in Canada, but one day when I was in my third year of university, I saw the job information of a fourth year graduate. , It's all a job offer for a veneer shop of a rural limited company somewhere. The only place to work is a plywood shop, and that's the only choice. The moment I saw it, I was disappointed and had a dream of becoming a trading company man.

At that time, there was a school dispute at the university, and when I was in the 4th grade, I quickly lost motivation and dropped out of Nihon University. I started working at. This company is a company that mainly imports industrial parts from the United Kingdom, and after about a year I learned about the structure of trading business, so I quit the company immediately and became a trading company on January 1, 1972. Launched "Kawanan Shokai". He was preparing for independence before he left the trading company, ordered O'Neill for a wetsuit in late 1971, and received the goods in the spring of 1972. It takes time because it is a sea mail, and the order is not by phone but by airmail. So, I set up my own shop called Rosie's Shop in Kamakura's lumber seat, and I got O'Neill's wetsuit, see-through, which is also an American wetsuit, as well as US "Surfer" magazine, California T-shirts, used clothes, etc. I started a shop that handles imported goods. Of course, O'Neill's wetsuits and Cali T were imported and sold for the first time in Japan, and were also sold to a few surf shops at that time. I was doing it alone, but at that time it was 360 yen per dollar, so O'Neill wetsuits didn't sell very well, about 10 clothes a year. The yen's appreciation in the oil crisis in 1974 made it 240 yen to the dollar, but in Japan, wetsuits were still a flower of Takamine.

Perhaps in 1974, Jack O'Neill suddenly visited my store. The famous beard was a little neat, but he had a strange look with a pirate-like black eyepatch on one eye. Just at lunch time, when I asked what I wanted to eat, I said "I want to eat Japanese soba", so I took it to my neighborhood Yabu Soba and came to Japan in Katakoto English while eating buckwheat. I asked. That was the beginning of my start of a wetsuit shop.

I'm totally aware that Jack O'Neill is looking for a Japanese rubber manufacturer, even though I originally fell in love with O'Neill's wetsuits made from American Lavatex rubber and paid a lot of money to import them. could not. After breaking up with Jack, I looked up which rubber company he went to and found that he went to Sed Chemistry in Nagata Ward, Kobe. The reason I came to Japan was to replace Lavatex with rubber from Sed Science. When O'Neill started making wetsuits out of Japanese rubber, I would say, "Wait a minute, don't be foolish." About two years later, I decided to make my own wetsuit. That was in 1976. I paid 1 million yen in cash to Sed Science and ordered the dough that was delivered to O'Neill. Even though I didn't even know how to make a wetsuit, I bought some fabric and pushed myself. I wonder if the first order brought about 150 pallets with 2 pallets on a 4-ton truck. One piece is 2m x 1.2m, and one piece can make one full suit. In other words, I bought 150 full suits of fabric. (to be continued)

bottom of page