Bonsai craftsman Teppei Kojima is willing to break down preconceived notions for the sake of the beauty he perceives. Behind the landscape that this man sees is refined strength and fragility. Wabi-sabi. And life and death.
Although he is sometimes called heretical, he is a man who inherits the essence of the Japanese people’s chic, not a mold or framework. His expression transcends generations and borders, and is now sought after by fans around the world.




「作業をするときも、人に会うときも、すべては身だしなみを整えることから始まる。身だしなみにおいて、僕が大切にしているのは清潔感。加えて、OLD JOEの洋服にはそこはかとない色気が漂う。それは、デザイナーが大切にしているという侘び寂びの美学ゆえだと勝手に解釈している。この世界観を作っているのが同じ日本人だと知ったとき、とても驚いたのを覚えている。」


Whenever I work or meet someone, it all starts with my appearance. When it comes to personal appearance, what I value is cleanliness. In addition, OLD JOE’s clothes have a certain sexiness to them. I have taken the liberty of interpreting this as being due to the wabi-sabi aesthetic that the designers value so much. I remember being shocked, moved, and a little jealous when I learned that it was the same Japanese people who created this worldview.

The more I wear them, the more I feel that they become more and more comfortable with my body. For example, I wear my favorite hanten gown every season, and although I think I need to give it a break, I wear it every now and then. While I wear it a lot as everyday wear, I also wear it as a set-up for more formal occasions such as dinners and parties. It is very important to have clothes that make you feel excited when the occasion calls for it.




「ヴィンテージのデニムは、その人の体型、クセや履き方で擦れや色落ちがして、履く人の生きた証のように思える。盆栽にも同じものを感じる。持ち主の育て方で形が全然変わってくるし、鉢を通して、これまでの持ち主の想像や意図、ここに至るまでの背景みたいなものがどんどん見えてくる。人から人へと継承され、一つの鉢が何百年も生き続けるように、OLD JOEのものづくりからは、デザイナーの美学と、ここに至るまでに辿ってきた洋服という存在の様式美や物語を感じ取ることができる。」

Since I was a young man, I have been exposed to a lot of American culture. Skateboarding, punk rock, hip-hop ……. When I was in elementary school, my father gave me a pair of 501s, and I fell in love with vintage Levi’s. I followed the 501s around. And Bonsai is synonymous with vintage Levi’s ‘501’ for me.”

Vintage denim is like a living proof of the wearer’s body shape, habits, and the way he or she wears it, with fraying and color fading. I feel the same thing about bonsai. The shape of a bonsai changes completely depending on how the owner grows it, and through the pot, we can see the owner’s imagination and intentions, and the background that led to this point in the life of the bonsai. Just as a pot lives on for hundreds of years as it is passed down from person to person, so in OLD JOE’s craftsmanship, one can sense the designer’s aesthetics, the beauty of the style of the clothing that has led up to this point, and even the story behind the clothing.