Inden Est.1582: From Samurai War Armor to Modern Leather Accessories

Japan is a rich culture known for its mix of modern living and traditional manners. There is a lot of history, and one such company, Inden Est.1582, is focused on bringing a practice from hundreds of years ago during the Age of the Samurai to today’s living. The company produces high-end leather accessories and has been carrying on the tradition for over 400 years. Its products include bags, wallets, zipped coin purse, and more.

Starting all the way back in 1582, Yuushichi Uehara created Inden’s signature technique of applying lacquer to deerskin leather. The skill has been passed down orally for 12 generations of the Uehara family, and it has evolved since then, but the core process remains the same including smoothing the leather, choosing flawless deerskin pelts, and blending lacquer and leather. As a result, the lacquer gives off a sheen while protecting the leather from wear.

Samurai warriors were some of Uehara’s first customers, and he used his technique to create their armor. The lacquer patterns applied to the leather pieces gave the warriors extra protection against battles and the weather. He saw many Japanese being inspired by the fashion and style of the Samurai and decided to create durable, functional designs for the Japanese people as well. The market for women’s fashion grew, and Inden started to design accessories to fit the kimono.

Fast-forward to today, and now fashionistas can own leather accessories from a technique that began during the Age of the Samurai. The lacquer technique gives the leather accessories its patterns ranging from diamond to chevron-s designs. The trade-secret and tricky technique has been disclosed to allow more skilled artisans to craft the Inden products.

The products are high-end products with wallets ranging from $175 to $500.

Inden sent us the Zipped Long Wallet Chevron-S Black x Black to check out, and it feels very exquisite. Retailing at $450, the Japanese-handmade zipped long wallet is made of deer and cow leather with a lacquer finish. The design and textures are very subtle, but I could feel the fine craftsmanship as my finger moves along the wallet. Inside the long wallet, there are 2 inside bill slots, 1 inside zip pocket, and 12 inside credit card slots to help with organization.

Own a piece of Japanese design history with Inden Est.1582’s line of leather accessories. The products are available on Inden’s site.

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