MR PORTER ‘The Japan Edit’ - Ino Hidefumi
Kyushu native Mr Ino Hidefumi moved to Tokyo in early 2002 with his wife Hiroko. After launching the successful café Tenement, they managed to build up enough revenue to back Mr Hidefumi’s dream of becoming a musician: in 2004 he put out his first single – a hit – and launched a record label, also called Tenement. Since then, Mr Hidefumi has released a series of albums, recorded exclusively with vintage instruments, which, he says give him “a sense of nostalgia”. His latest, Don’t Listen, Feel! Which was released at the end of 2018, is the first on which he’s picked up the mic and tried his hands at vocals. – As the final part of the “Japan Edit” project in collaboration with luxury menswear retailer MR PORTER, we met him in Jinbocho, a district famed for its used book stores, and Harajuku, in the renowned synth shop Five G
How did you first get interested in making music?
I was first introduced to the piano at five years of age. I went to a piano school but really wasn’t into it at first. The piano school I went to only taught classical music but all I want to do was play rock and new wave so I would spend all my spare time practising these genres.
Can you describe you personal style?
Definitely simple is the best way to sum it up. Norm core but with an essence of music thrown in there. Originally I worked at A.P.C. so I took on board a strong influence from Jean Touitou. I am not into any hype at all, I just want to be myself and express myself in my own way.
”My style is simple. Norm core but with an essence of music thrown in there”
What’s special to you about the places we visited today?
Jinbocho is a good place to relax and get away from things. I really love the atmosphere there, as it still celebrates traditional things: printed matter and coffee shops. It’s where I go for inspiration to design album covers – we design all our album covers at Tenement – and its a great place to find old and unique books. On the other hand Harajuku really represents what is now and the fast forward button of Tokyo, everything is changing all the time but you are still able to find hidden gems such as Five G which embrace the foundations of which made Harajuku what it was in the 80s and 90s.
Tell us more about Five G?
I have been going to Five G for years, this is where I buy almost all my musical equipment or go to for maintenance on my equipment. It is a really interesting place with people who take their jobs really seriously and are embedded in the world of music. Five G have a lot of unique instruments and music equipment, it is considered the best in Japan.
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