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NARUKIYO YOSHIDA

February 28, 2016

“Yoshida! What the hell’s wrong with you today, don’t lose it.” So for me she, was a good hostess.

I used the ferry and came to Tokyo on a motorbike. So when I was packing up my Rabbit up into a small truck, by chance you could see my mom crying by the telephone pole in the pictures someone took that day, she was weeping. When it was time to go, we left shore but I could still see Kyushu. “Oh no, I wanna go home,” I thought. I cried like crazy. I didn’t know it was a two day ferry ride so I was basically just jacking off. [Laughs] It was spring when I got to Tokyo, the cherry blossoms in Kudanshita busted out and it was like Bakufu Slump. The zen cuisine guy I was working with shaved his head, so I wanted to try going bald too. When work was finally over, everyday I’d go to Roppongi, then I’d get stopped by the cops in Hiroo. “Hey, you in a cult?” “No,” “Are you in a cult?” “No, I’m not,” I was asked twice a day. [Laughs] That place had a lot of alcohol and I was able to learn a lot; the customers were amazing too. Like the drink Toyotomi Hideyoshi loved called Kikuhime. I didn’t know how to drink, so the hostess taught me about it every night, enough to start hating it. “Yoshida! What the hell’s wrong with you today, don’t lose it.” So for me, she was a good hostess. I was working beside an old guy so I learned fast and it was fun. It was tough but I really appreciate it.

When the owner would come around, I had to arrange the flowers, change the seasonal vase and folding screen. I learned the flowers of the four seasons; he cared about that kind of thing.

And I worked in Shibuya, at a place called Gyosantei. Being able to meet the owner of that place was a really huge thing for me. When he would come around, I had to arrange the flowers, and then I had the chance to make breakfast for him for the 20 or so days that he would be there. Because he cared about it, I’d change the seasonal vase and folding screen, I learned the flowers of the four seasons there. Even though it was tough, I had my coworkers; there were even customers that would support me. It’s really tough now, difficult, you gotta give, you gotta think, you gotta do business. It’s best if you can get it together while you’re young. That long awaited weekend had Kiss, Apollo, Blue, Mix, Yellow. There were so many people, Aoyama’s golden age. A miracle. So, I was able to meet a lot of artists and designers there. “What shop do you work at?” “Nah, I’m a chef.” “A 40’s chef?” I even got to do the food for someone’s Paris fashion show I met there. At night, I’d hang out till I dropped, then in the morning it was back to Tsukiji again. The only thing that’s the same for everyone is time. It’s just how you use it.

Russian Avant-garde is so awesome. Like circus clothes, the 20’s were so impressive. So cool.

It’s because, I can’t help it, but I like the culture. The music, the clothes, I love it. Mr. Yanaga from Brian Clothing (now Ronde), that guy is like a mob bosses that taught me everything and completely changed me. When I was a student, he taught me Bauhaus and movies, from art to whatever, all kinds of things. Not just regular vintage stuff, it no good if you don’t know about that stuff too, he said. The guys in Kurume were crazy about that stuff. They were like encyclopedias, I was totally into it. Russian Avant-garde is so awesome. Like circus clothes, the 20’s were so impressive. I saw Tamara de Lempicka‘s “Tamara in the Green Bugatti” and I was so moved. I read their books, they had old trench coats, and like large gauge sweaters. Movies and record jackets; just from those kinds of things; it was a time when there wasn’t any info from the forties and thirties. Anyway, it was tough to get the info.

It’s like the cool, full dress forties to me. Then I happened to meet Maki Carrousel at Gajoen, she saw my style and said, “Hey, it’s been a long time.” I couldn’t believe it, Maki Carrousel thought she new me. In the smoking area, she said it’s been a while and hello, I was so pleased. You can tell I’m kind of a rude boy, right? So when Mr. Yanaga said, “Aren’t you lookin’ good today?” I was really pleased.

*Brian Clothing (now Ronde)
Vintage clothing, accessories, and goods main from the 1930’s to 1960’s. The shop handles brands such as The Real McCoy’s, Style Craft (now Evisu), Pherrow’s, Full Count, Zazous, Draper’s Bench, Brian Original Wear.

 

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