Yamamura-san also apprenticed under a local shoemaker for 7 years before he set up his own atelier / shoe repair shop.
The island of Kyushu seems to be blessed with a number of talented shoemakers. Others include Yuki Shirahama, Yutaka Seikaku (Corno Blu) and Matsuda Akinobu (both who apprenticed under Roberto Ugolini). Shoji Kawaguchi (Marquess) also hails from Kyushu (though now in Tokyo)
I've lived in Fukuoka, but never got around to check out Yuki Shirahama. Have you seen his work in the flesh?