The birth of goro's

1. Born to be a craftsman

Goro Takahashi was born in 1939 in Jujo, Tokyo, as the fifth of six children. The origin of his name comes after the number five (Go) and son (Ro), a common name in Japan given to the fifth boy of a family.

Goro’s father was a hardware dealer traveling to different villages and a haiku poet. In the impoverished postwar period of the early Showa era, he traveled around farming villages carrying a variety of daily necessities and foods on his back and selling for his business. He would purchase goods from his sales proceeds and resell them in the next village. Once hitting the road, he would travel for several months. In a sense, it is like a journey.

Goro once said,
“When my father returned after months of business, he would unload his baggage, take a wad of cash out of his bellyband, and toss it into the air. My mother would gratefully accept it. Then he would sit down at his desk, rub the ink, and begin to write haiku on stripes of paper with a calligraphy brush. Even as a child, my father looked really cool.”

During his childhood, Goro collected scrap iron for money and used it to buy materials to build whatever he wanted. He once became enthusiastic about making a glider, assembling the glider frame from balsa and cheddar wood and attaching the paper. Every time he participated in a model airplane competition organized by a Newspaper company, he won the prize. He would build an even larger model using the materials he received as a prize. He also became fascinated with the Native American culture as a young boy by playing Indian-style children’s games, which was standard children's game back then.

Goro said,

“I have been creating things since I was a child. If I fail, I know the reason why. If I do well, I get better at it. My hands move faster than my head. They take shape when I find good materials and fiddle them with my hands. At the time, it was postwar; there were broken baby carriages that were thrown away. So I converted them into a covered wagon and used them to play Indian-style games. My elder brothers were all excellent academically, but I was different. I was good at creating, like the wagon or the model airplane. I created things by using materials that were around me. It was a place where I belonged. I did what I liked, and everyone was happy.”

“Travelling” and “Crafting: are indispensable in describing Goro Takahashi. The roots of his passion lie in his childhood.

2. The beginning of goro’s

In junior high school, Goro had a destined encounter at the summer camp in Hayama.
Goro said,
“When I was in junior high school, I met an American troop soldier stationed in Yokosuka and learned leather carving from him. He taught me how to carve leather with sculptural patterns. On the day of the soldier’s return to his home country, he gifted me 7 tools, and I got obsessed with leather carving. I started by making belts.”

He also mentioned,
"I don’t carve the leather with a knife. I make all the patterns by beveling the leather. The area becomes very weak if I carve or shave the leather with a knife. This is the first method he taught me in Hayama.”

Goro made Western belts and book straps. When he brought it to the school, everyone wanted to have one. He also hand-sewed peg-top trousers (also known as Mambo Trouser) and pantaloons using deerskin, which was popular then.

After graduating from junior high school, as Goro was devoted to putting himself in making things, he decided to drop out of high school after two months and started his career as a leather craftsman at the age of 16.

Using the tools offered by the American troop soldier, he carved western floral patterns on the leather belts and brought them to Nakata Store in Ameyoko, Ueno. The owner of Nakata Store, Tadao Nakata, is a legendary figure who created many trends for modelguns and military surplus goods.

Goro once recalled those days as,
“I visited Nakata Store in Ueno with a belt. The owner has told me, ‘They are very well made. Make 100 of them and bring them to me, and I will buy them for 900 yen each.’ He also decided on the selling price of 1,800 yen per belt. I was so happy. The unit cost of the leather for the belt is 180 yen. So if I make 100 belts, the sales revenue will be 90,000 yen, and my profit will be 72,000 yen. It was a lot of money, and I was so happy. I was making them with excitement. That was my first business. I had just opened my own store, and I can’t tell how much it had helped me.

I wanted to earn my own money. I want to be independent and live on my own. That’s what I’ve always wanted since junior high school. So I used to use the stair landing of my house as a workshop and made belts. Eventually, modelguns became popular, and I made gun belts. These sold very well too.

As I did the same in middle school, I continued to use the stair landing of my house and turned it into an actual workshop when I got to high school. This is a place that even my mother would never touch. Eventually, they let me use the second floor, and people wanted to work there. I gradually got the hang of it and started making leather handbags and stuff like that."

This way, goro’s was born as a brand to produce and sell leather goods.

3. Taro Takahashi

In the '60s, goro’s had a young man helping him out. His name was Taro Takahashi, and he was the son of his eldest brother. They were uncles and nephews, but because of their close age, Goro took good care of him like a brother.

However, Taro was not as enthusiastic about leather crafting as Goro, and his tardiness became more noticeable. So, Goro told him that if he wanted to do something else, he should work hard for it. In fact, Taro Takahashi would later become a legendary figure in the world of Japanese surfing. Taro, who was more suited to maneuvering on waves than carving leather, would become the first surfboard shaper in Japan.