Originally Posted by meister
Is this why lots of themo do internships in Europe?
In regards to what I wrote previously about the job-prospect for new shoemakers, I think the answer is yes
to a certain degree. An apprenticeship in a prestigious workshop in Europe will always look good on the resume!
But of course, like FlyingMonkey-san said, these folks yearn to study in Europe because they want to learn the 'real deal'.
It's not that there isn't a tradition of shoemaking in Japan. They've been making western-style shoes for over 140 years. I've seen exceptional works being done by locally trained shoemakers, like Ketiaro Takano
(Clematis), and Masaru Okuyama
, to name a few. However there is a preconception (among many Japanese shoemakers) that Japanese workshops tend to put a gruelling emphasis on perfecting the technical skills (compared to European counterparts), and not enough to nurture creativity (or sensibility) among the apprentices. Perhaps too much of that 140 years have been spent on perfecting the craft learned or imitated from the English, the Americans, and the Italians, and not barely enough to develop a tradition of style that is distinguishably Japanese (and good looking). I think same can said about other western-derived crafts such as cooking (as FM mentioned above).
I can't really say how much of the preconception above is valid (because, again, locally trained shoemakers are certainly capable of designing beautiful shoes), but lots of young shoemakers do indeed yearn to score an apprenticeship in Europe. Some foreign trained shoemakers I've met told me that they don't go there to learn how to make shoes (they already know how to), but to nurture an (English, French, or Italian) sensibility.
....and of course there are shoemakers who go for the whole package, the whole nine yards, by enrolling in schools in Europe.