Goro Fascinating people


1. The unchanging scenery

In 1966, Goro Takahashi opened his first store, “goro’s” in Central Aoyama by Killer Street, a shopping street in the Aoyama district. He then relocated his store to Harajuku in 1972. The owner of the fashion brand GRASS, Akimitsu Yamada, offered Goro to open a store in the same building. Only a few stores in Harajuku, including goro’s, have continued to operate without relocating since 1973. goro’s has remained unchanged, with the interior and merchandise all made by Goro’s hands. The scenery of Harajuku has never changed.

Ever since goro’s opened its Harajuku store and began making silver jewelry, it has been plagued by a problem: shoplifting. Goro is a genuinely pure and straightforward person, he does not know how to doubt people. Also, he gets absorbed in explaining his items when serving the customers in the store. Hence, he began to lock the store door and serve each customer individually. This was the beginning of the goro’s style of customer service that continues to this day.

entrance goros  official store
Source of Photo: Yellow Eagle

Eventually, a queue would form along the guardrail in front of the store. One day in the winter of 1991, Goro sat down on the guardrail and was surprised at how cold it was. So Goro decided to install a log bench, which has warmth as a material.

Goro said,
“When I went downstairs after working on a winter day, it was freezing cold. In such weather, everyone would sit on the guardrail and wait for me. So one day, I asked my friends to transport a 9-meter long log from Shinshu (currently known as Nagano Prefecture) and lay it by the pedestrian walkway. I also brought in a truckload of snow and covered the area. After that, people gradually gathered around and played in the snow, forgetting about the cold. I was happy that the customers enjoyed it as well.”

The queue of customers sitting on the logs and waiting for their turn to enter the store became a new Harajuku landmark, an iconic scene that continued until the log bench was towed away in 2002.

Even in this age of the Internet, goro’s still insists on providing face-to-face sales. You would have to queue in line and win a lottery to enter the store. Even though you can enter the store, you cannot purchase the desired item. You must keep revisiting and building a good relationship with the staff to buy the items you want. For example, it is said that it takes 10 years to purchase an Eagle Pendant.

The staff carefully preserves the spirit of Goro Takahashi that resides in goro’s products.

goro takahashi snow log
Source of Photo: The Legend Of Harajuku goro's

2. Creating anything

Goro was a man who made anything himself.

In addition to belts and bags, he often carved deerskin jackets and trousers, furniture such as chairs and tables, car seats, and leather sofas. One day, Goro walked by a furniture store and found a discarded sofa. He decided to repair and replace all the upholstery fabric with leather and carved it into a beautiful sofa. The sofa is still available in the store in Harajuku.

He also sponsored his jewelry for famous Japanese actors. No single person in Japan at the time could accurately reproduce authentic western style jewelry except for Goro.

Among his friends, there is an anecdote about Goro’s favorite car, the Isuzu Bellett, which is still talked about today. The Isuzu Bellett with all the seats upholstered in leather with carving designs is Goro’s original and customized car.

One day during a night out in the car, a man approached and asked,
“Where can I get the seats in your Bellett?”
When Goro told him it was his own creation, the man wanted him to do it for his car. Goro refused to do it, but the man insisted him to sell him the Bellett. Once again, Goro immediately refused, then the man said,
“I will trade for your car! My car is from the movie called Route 66!”
The man’s car was a Corvette Stingray from the movie Route 66. In the end, Goro decided to trade and got the Corvette as if he had thrown a sprat to catch a whale. He changed it to a carved leather seat and drove around the streets of Tokyo in the car with its overwhelming presence. 

sofa goro takahashi made
Source of Photo: The Legend Of Harajuku goro's

3. Attracting even the Hollywood stars

Goro Takahashi, also known for Yellow Eagle, lived for months in a teepee assembled on the ground and rides his horse and motorcycle across the Great Plains. Yet, at the same time, he was a genuine urban playboy.

In those days, Goro often went to disco clubs such as MUGEN and ByBLos in Akasaka, and his playmates, including world-class designers such as the young Takeo Kikuchi and Junko Koshino who later revolutionized the Japanese fashion world. They were said to have appreciated Goro’s craftsmanship from an early age. Goro’s sense of style also attracted overseas stars such as Peter Fonda and Tina Turner.

Goro once said,
“There was a disco called MUGEN in Akasaka back then, and I always went there to dance. I used to wear a deerskin shirt, trousers, and moccasin that I made myself. One day, Tina Turner came to the disco and performed. I went and danced. After the show, I was invited to backstage, and Tina was there. She asked me where I had made the clothes. I told her I made them myself, and she asked me to make them for her. The next day, I went to her hotel and took measurements. I was surprised when she took off all her clothes right in front of me.”

Goro, who drives around in his fancy Excalibur, a car he loves, is a man who has enjoyed the chicest era of Tokyo. Yet, even at a trendy restaurant or in a teepee tucked away on the Great Plains, he can spend the same style of life. He is also a man who can wear well-worn jeans and a tuxedo in the same way. That is Goro Takahashi.

Source of Photo: The Legend Of Harajuku goro's


Reference List

DELTAone created the article contents from the following references.
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