The Japanese not only excel when it comes to shoemaking, they are also leading the way when it comes to informative Youtube channels on the topic. One channel that everyone who are interested in making shoes by hand and all it involves should follow is Crazy About Shoes, run by Ken Hishinuma of the bespoke shoe brand Khish the Work.
The digital era has brought with it entirely new possibilities also for the most traditional crafts, in terms of showcasing and teaching advanced handmade techniques, like making shoes by hand. Of course, the best and easiest way will always be to train under someone experienced, but fact is that there’s plenty of rather successful shoemakers out there who have learned shoemaking to a large extent through books and digital channels. The former gives a great base with theory, while the latter helps understanding the practicalities. Also for established shoemakers who wants to see other techniques and be inspired it’s a great resource, or for shoe nerds like myself (I don’t watch regular Youtube channels that cover classic shoes that much, since I rarely learn anything new there, but I love these shoemaking channels).
As often is the case, when the Japanese do things, they do it properly. I’ve written before about Siroeno Yosui’s Youtube channel which is a great resource for those who want to see how shoemaking is done. The channel Crazy about Shoes is another excellent one. It’s run by Ken Hishinuma comes from Yokohoma south of Tokyo. He is trained at Ishihara Shoemaking School in Asakusa, and has now made shoes for almost four years time. He runs his own brand Khish the Work which offers bespoke and soon MTO, where he does all himself, including the shoe trees.
On his Youtube, he shares the process of his shoemaking, in various types of videos which often focus on certain steps of the shoemaking process. He also interviews shoe people, talk about materials, discuss fitting shoes, and so on. It’s a rather varied channel, with many interesting videos. It’s in Japanese, but it has English subtitles (can need to be turned on) which works well. Definitely worth to check out if you haven’t already.