There are seven types of deer in Japan. Deer that live mainly in Hokkaido are called 'Ezo Shika’ (Shika = deer). Ezo Shika are characterized by being much bigger than other kinds of deer. It’s common to see individuals in excess of 100 kg. Their big round eyes are very adorable so people find them to be a lovely looking animal. At the same time, the antlers of a male deer are very majestic looking. Although Ezo Shika are very attractive animals, they are also the cause of some big problems in Hokkaido. Damage to agricultural crops has become a serious issue, and there have been many accidents involving Ezo Shika and road vehicles and railways. Their numbers are being reduced by hunters to stop further damage as they are seen as destructive animals which threaten the balance of nature and the local economy.
This time we visit GR COMPANY in Obihiro City, Hokkaido. They produce and sell full-scale chandeliers made from the antlers of Ezo Shika, ‘DEER HORN SMITH’S'.
GR COMPANY, Hokkaido ｜ 2019.7.17
A visit to GR COMPANY that produces deer antler chandeliers in Obihiro City, Hokkaido.
This time we visited GR COMPANY in Obihiro City, Hokkaido. The representative of GR COMPANY Mr. Morii opened two stores 30 years ago; GOLD RUSH which deals with casual western style and American fashions and CALIFORNIA HARVEST which specializes in outdoor fashion. Mr. Morii originally loved cowboy style fashions and Native North American style jewelry from the American pioneer era. He planned a store that would focus on this. He used to often travel abroad to seek out and purchase old time American denim, leather, western boots, cowboy hats, and more. “Because my shops were small, I stuck to selling products that were carefully selected and purchased.” Mr. Morii has a good sense in choosing items for resale so local clothing lovers quickly paid attention to his shops. It didn't take long for his shops to become popular with the fashionista crowd. “At that time, used clothing was more popular than new stuff. There were many customers who wanted vintage items like Levi's 501s. Items which had not yet been distributed in Japan. I was confident in choosing clothing which would match our customers desires as they were my favourite items too." Through Mr. Morii's selection and riding the style wave at the time, sales steadily increased. It was literally smooth sailing. “But then a dark era came.”