Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai
North east of old town where has castle wall, there is a select shop called “Nanairo” on the center of Moon Muang Rd Lane 6 (small tourist town), it’s owned by Japanese.
This shop mainly has clothes and general goods and there is also café and constantly has live shows and DJ events. This place is one of the places to send cultural information in Chiang Mai.
We interviewed Mr. Sato who is the owner of “Nanairo”.
-Hello, please let us know why you opened Nanairo in this city.
“Nanairo” was opened in Sathon in Bangkok, and after 2 years, it’s moved to Chiang Mai in 2011.
The reason of moving was the flood in Bangkok.
My daughter was only one moth old at that moment, so we escaped to Chiang Mai at the beginning.
Then after, we decided to completely move our house and shop to Chiang Mai. We’ve started our business in Chiang Mai on the beginning of this street “soi 6” for 2 years and have moved to the middle of the street 6 years ago.
-Please tell us about the products.
As for clothes, there are mainly 2 brands, “moohutte” which I produced by myself and “TRAPS/WANA” from Bangkok. Accessories are produced by my creator friends.
-What is the meaning of “moonhutte”?
Moon means of-course moon, hutte means hut in German.
I used to work as mountain guide and lived in hut for a long time. So I picked from that.
-How the design and materials came from? Where do you make them?
I mainly use natural materials such as cotton, hemp and linen. I design by myself for casual use in our daily life and also during the trips.
We have small factory in Bangkok and most of our products were sewed there. There are few products which were sewed in Chiang Mai. Hand-sewing and plant dying in Chiang Mai, and we create some unique products in Chiang Mai.
-You said you were a mountain guide, when did you climb mountain?
I tore a ligament in my right leg when I was 20 years old and I started to climb mountain as rehabilitation.
I was born in Fukushima and moved to Nagano after that. I lived in hut and worked as a mountain guide for 10 years. The half of these 10 years, I go and back to Nepal and Japan.
I spent at the mountain during most of my stay in Nepal and also create hemp bags and sell them wholesale to my friends in Japan.
-Is there anything common between climbing and current job？
Patience which I received from climbing is helpful for my oversea life and work.Climbing brought me strong mind.
-You moved to Thailand after your life in Nepal and Nagano, right?
Yes, when I met my wife in Bangkok, she has already lived and worked there.
Then after we’ve got married and I’ve moved to Thailand.
-What kind of customers come to Nanairo?
People come from all around the world. It was rare that Thai came at the beginning, but people recently come from local area and also Bangkok with wide age range.
-There is an original shampoo of moonhutte. I like that shampoo, it’s so comfortable. Please tell me about that shampoo.
That’s Kaffir lime shampoo.
I’ve been thinking about ecology and environment and I found that grandmother generation in Chiang Mai uses Kaffir lime for their hair and I thought that I want it to be merchandized.
I received the recipe from Grandma in Chiang Mai. It can also be purchased from Japan by payaka online store.
-Is there any shops which have the clothes of moonhutte?
They were sold at “Imperial” in Motomachi, Kobe and Nanairo has online shop as well.
-You sometimes go to Japan and have shop stand at events. How do you think about recent Japan?
I understood that Consumption in Japan drops and it’s difficult to connect to purchase, but people try our clothes on at the event and maybe we will receive good feedback.
-Nanairo frequently has events. What kind of events do you mainly have?
Basically we have live shows, we do DJ events recently. Musicians from many countries play, we all met through mutual friends. “Nanairo” was named with a wish of many colors, not only seven colors.
Original colors of the people who come mix in this place and become new color and spread out.
I wished that this shop can be the place where people interact with others, as world peace.
I think if the people around the world connect regardless of races or nationalities, we can avoid the conflicts even if the top of the countries want to.
-Do you talk about that subject with guests?
When I talk with the guests who came from many countries, it’s natural to have that kind of subjects.
-You have “Play for Japan” T-shirt. When did you make it?
I made it after 311 for charity. I designed with a wish of world peace. Oh! Nanairo has Gandhi T-shirt.
-Do you think you will continue to have this shop in Chiang Mai?
I’m not sure about the future, but the things I can do with my Thai friends have increased in these 10 years so I wants to stay in Chiang Mai as long as possible.
The environment to raise children is good and that’s very attractive for me too.