Shoes Like Pottery emerged from Japan's MoonStar brand – in 1873, founded by Unpei Kurata. The brand was initially called "Tsuchiya Tabi" and has focused on craftsmanship philosophy since the first day. Japan did not have a history of shoe culture, but American culture inspired a small Japanese company to create a superior-quality product.
Shoes Like Pottery sources only the highest quality materials, carefully chosen to maintain the integrity of each pair of shoes. A skilled craftsman attaches the upper to the outsole according to the shape of the last, and then puts a tape around it. This process is impossible to do by machine, therefore each pair is done by hand.
There are only two factories left in all of Japan still able to churn out Vulcanized soles (both are in Kurume city, Shikoku), and no one in the United States. The shoes are fired in a 120 °C (248 °F) kiln for 70 minutes, similar to the way Japanese pottery is fired. The extreme heat and pressure causes the sulfur mixed inside the raw rubber to chemically react, returning the rubber to its original shape. Since their rubber is both durable and flexible, the shoe has a long life and holds a beautiful shape.
The foxing elastic tape around the sole is stamped with a rubber seal bearing the brand logo. Each logo seal is embossed individually, which means that each pair of Shoes Like Pottery is different and unique and is inspired by the legendary magic hammer, "Uchide no kozuchi." Legends say that when swung, this mallet grants the wishes of its holder and everlasting luck. It is believed that this hammer was held by the Japanese deity, Daikokuten - one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology.
The factory, which has near 150 years of history, will continue to protect the 'vulcanization method' and continue to share its good quality with the world. Each pair of these sneakers is akin to artisan ceramics.