1. Long awaited trip to the US
Goro Takahashi has been devoted to American Indian culture since childhood.
Goro recalled his moment as,
"Ever since I was a child, I loved the American Indian culture and used to play American Indian-themed games. I liked it a lot."
Goro traveled to the United States for the first time at 28 years old.
"I longed to travel to the United States. Overseas travel was special at the time, and a dollar conversion was at 360 yen. But I wanted to travel there anyway. At the age of 28, I visited New York for the first time with the money I earned through making belts. When I visited the museum, I was impressed by the attire of American Indians and the tools they used; I wanted to meet them. So, I started making belts every day after returning from this trip. When I had earned enough money, I would travel back to the United States. I also made many other items besides belts, such as clothes, bags, moccasins, and other stuff I would wear myself."
On a trip to the United States in 1971, Goro had an encounter in Arizona.
He recalled the moment,
"I stopped at Flagstaff in Arizona. When a man walked toward me, he was interested in my leather bag and invited me to his store. That is how I met JED, the silversmith who is still a close friend of mine. I didn't speak English, but we hit it off right away. I learned from JED about making concho by shaping the silver dollar coin. I also learned about crafting silver accessories from him by gifting him my leather bags and belts in return. There was no monetary exchange; I bartered on his silversmith skills of silver accessories for my leather crafting skills. It is a standard habit among American Indian people. It's the connection between people that is important."
"I fell in love with the bag that Goro made himself when I saw him carrying at the outskirt of Route 66 near the town of Flagstaff, Arizona. That was the beginning of my friendship with Goro, which grew stronger quickly."
After returning to Japan, Goro began making his own silver buckle and concho for his leather belts.
Goro recited this moment,
"I made my first concho from a silver dollar coin and placed ten conchos on my belts. Then I made my own buckle. Originally, I bought the buckle and attached it to my belts. After studying in the United States, however, I started making my own buckle. I carved the leather with even more care when I made my buckle. So, my work has become even better. I also made my own tools for silver carvings from scratch. I put more effort into making each tool. It is something that I cannot let go of it. So, I decided to do the same for the products I create for the others."
Goro has deepened his relationship with American Indians after meeting JED. Not through money or power, but with simple trust and bonding. Goro, who used to only be a leather craftsman, learned silversmithing in the United States and took goro's to a new frontier.
DELTAone created the article contents from the following references.
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