Born March 14, 1990 (Pisces)

Hobbies: I started running six months ago. It's idiotic but I run 8 km (around 5 miles) a day. All the other managers out there run, so I decided to try it myself. They say that physical stress eclipses mental stress; I completely agree. While I love sake, I make sure to drink an amount that will still let me run in the morning.
How work affects my daily life: I'm really particular about colors. Like, I'll take the spine off a book if I don't like the color (laughs). By the way, cold colors look good in northern regions, while warm colors look good in southern regions. That's why Scandinavian knick-knacks use a lot of blues and Shuri Castle is red - those shades are beautiful in those contexts. Kyoto is a place where you can find many colors.

The origins of sensu lie in hi-ougi, a type of folding fan first made in the Nara period (710-794) made by fastening together long, thin, wooden tablets. At the time, they served as a sort of paper for memos on which the procedure for ceremonies were written. During the mid-Heian period (794-1185), the kawahori-ougi was also created by attaching paper to bamboo ribs. People began to use them to cool off and express themselves.

In modern times, in addition to being widely used to fan oneself for coolness, sensu are used as talismans for good luck, as the spread-out shape is said to symbolize prosperity. Furthermore, they are vital props for the traditional Japanese arts of noh, kabuki, and rakugo; in some performances, they help to mime using hats, sake cups, chopsticks, and so on.

For generations, Ohnishi Tsune Shoten originally made motoyui (thin cords for tying up hair), but the decline of traditional Japanese hairstyles led them to produce sensu. During the following century, they have continued to create and sell high-quality sensu. In addition, their 150-year-old machiya (traditional wooden townhouse), which houses the company office and spaces that can be rented, has been designated as a special historical building by Kyoto City.

Cherishing Kyoto’s Heart

For better or for worse, Kyoto is a city where people's connections and the community are very close. Rumors spread quickly (laughs), but they also watch you doing your best. When I came back to work at the family business, everyone gave me so much support. I want to keep protecting not just the shiny, beautiful parts of Kyoto that can be seen on the surface, but also the soft parts, like admiring the harvest moon every fall and cherishing our ancestors, as well as ways of enjoying our lifestyles.

I think that compared to other cities, there's also something different about the way we think about things. For example, during obon (a festival to honor the spirits of one's ancestors), my family goes to Rokuharamitsu-ji Temple and sounds the bell to greet our ancestors. There's a tradition that says when we ring the bell, our ancestors will come to the umbrella pines we're holding. When obon begins, everyone around here goes to the temple. I feel like people would scoff, "No way are your ancestors here," but we believe they are, and we go to meet them sincerely.

Enjoying Kyoto Through its Way of Life

It's true that Kyoto is a tourist city. However, I'd like visitors to engage in tourism that lets them take home a part of people's lifestyles and ways of life. I believe that greeting our ancestors and eating the same food as them during obon is also a kind of task we receive from them, and it's connected to the present. It's also a chance to think about your own life. Japan's seasonal festivals and ceremonies help me to reflect. I think things like, "I'm glad my family is still in good health this year," or "It looks like the family’s gotten bigger this year." It makes me feel the joy of living. The increase in modern apartments, instead of just old Japanese-style houses, is connected to the future of the city, so it's an important development. But I still think that Kyoto will become more fun if you have even the slightest desire to enjoy its customs and lifestyle.

We Don’t Need Sensu in Our Everyday Lives

I currently post on social media, including content about traditional events and other cultural aspects. Sometimes people who've seen my posts come to see the sensu. Sometimes they even bring me beer (laughs). I've posted about how I love beer so much on X that it's on my lock screen (laughs). Nowadays, we have electric fans and air conditioners, and even portable fans. Essentially, we don't need sensu in our everyday lives. But I'm in the process of digging deep into the significance and essence of using them. So far, I think that a sensu is something that elevates one's elegance. Seeing as I've redone the store, I'd like to offer products that link sensu to more elements, like connecting dots to create lines.

Sensu and the Machiya

Using kaishi (paper used to hold sweets during tea ceremonies) instead of tissues, or putting money wrapped in kaishi into an envolope rather than just handing it over; I think that customs like these are elegant and beautiful. I'm thinking of stocking kaishi here as well. I'd like it to make it a shop that can offer things to people who want some elegance in their lifestyle, including how to use those items. In order to spread the culture of Kyoto and sensu, I think it’s vital that I wear kimono for 360 days a year and keep this machiya (traditional wooden townhouse), which has stood for 150 years. I was so happy when I got a review saying, "This store made me reflect on what shopping means." Having a store with the proper atmosphere is important. I want people to be glad that they made their purchase right here. I feel it's important to keep doing business while preserving this Kyoto machiya in order to convey its essence.



What do you want tourists to feel and experience when they see the machiya?
When I was elementary school age. But back then, we lived in the old machiya, so I was embarrassed. We took care of our ancestors during obon without taking any time off, and we'd visit their graves once a week, so that made me realize we were different to other families. Back then, I didn't like doing things for all the seasons, like viewing the harvest moon and celebrating seasonal festivals, but now I appreciate it. During obon, we eat the same shojin ryori meals (Buddhist vegetarian cooking) as our ancestors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the olden days, they didn't even eat meat, so I'd be thinking, "This tastes bad..." (laughs) 
What do you want tourists to feel and experience when they see the machiya?
I don't mean to brag, but I think there are very few people who live a lifestyle as Kyoto-like as mine, with the traditional events I observe and my machiya. In future, I hope that I'll be able to experience seasonal events with guests and have them take part too. For example, writing wishes on mulberry leaves and setting them afloat for Tanabata. I'm thinking about how I can make people feel the spirit of cherishing Kyoto's traditional way of life and its seasons.
Tourists seem to be tired of regular sightseeing, so I think it's amazing to be able to get inspired through experiences. That means that this building is still standing because of your heart.
Turning it into an apartment building would probably make me the most money (laughs). A machiya really does cost a lot. Even the carpenters you hire need to specialize in machiya. Back when the building was being strengthened, my parents had two really nice cars, but at some point, it turned into one van. We had lots of furniture too, but they also got sold. I want to keep the determination that my parents had alive. Sensu developed within Kyoto culture, so I want to teach people about culture as well. I think it's important to both leave some money and preserve this machiya for its future inhabitants hundreds of years down the line, and have them protect it too.


Price 200,000 yen
Number of participants per group 1-4 people
Available times 10:00 am to 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Cancellation policy 100% cancellation fee 7 days or more before the event date.
Payment method Credit card only
Application Requirements Participants must be at least 18 years old
(Children 12-18 years old may participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian)
Reservation deadline Until 7 days prior to the date of the dialogue
What will happen on the day 1. Pick up at hotel
2. Arrive at location of dialogue
3. Chat and explanation about dialogue
4. Dialogue with your chosen Kyotoite
5. Drop off at hotel


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