The Ishii family in the 1950s. The small boy in the center right is Shinichi, the third generation owner of the company.
The man holding Shinichi on his lap is Keijiro, his father and the second generation owner.
Origin of Ishii
In 1899, more than 120 years ago from today, Taju Ishii founded our company in Tokyo. Traditionally there were many cow leather dealers in the west side of Sumida River like Asakusa and in the east side there were mainly sheep leather dealers. Our company was founded in Sumida Ward, the east side of the river, and our main business was to source sheep leather crusts, finish and resell them. It was before the invention of synthetic fibers so leather was widely used not only for shoes and clothes but also for parts of machines or for military equipment. Taju successfully expanded his business and in 1930's he started to import sheep leather crusts from India to finish in Japan. It was a start of importing business, which is still one of our main businesses today. As imperial Japan dragged the whole nation into the Pacific War, Sumida area witnessed fierce air raids and the whole area was burned down to ashes, including our office. After the war Taju quickly reconstructed the company and we were incorporated as Ishii & Co., Ltd. in 1951.
Our office building in Sumida, Tokyo.
We are a leather wholesaler but we also value our DNA as a merchant. The mission of a merchant is to be a bridge between a buyer and a producer but we try not to be merely an import agent. We have our sourcing network all over the globe and gather information as quick as possible. If there is something a buyer needs, we search in our network and find the best supplier. If there is something a producer wants to sell, we plan together and decide what can be done to best promote in the Japanese market. We have always been a leather dealer from the start but we always keep our eyes open to other business or materials and don't stop challenging to something new. We believe such flexibility has always been the key element that enables us to keep our business running for over a century.
We have a long relationship with the leather mesh factory in India for three generations on both sides.
Our women's bag brand Muzica Vita.
We have our own shop in Akihabara/Okachimachi, Tokyo.
Belt tapes from Italy. Our materials are not limited to leather.
Keita Ishii has been our CEO since 2022, the fourth generation since the founder.