HERE IS THE TRUTH
Words by Kenji Jinnouchi, Photographs by Koji Maeda,Edit by Masafumi Tada
This summer, we have welcomed two new members to DAYS page of this website. One is Suguru Oishi, who is the owner of “Ticro hair”, and the other is a Yoga instructor, a DJ, and a sound creator, Shiho Miyawaki. They’re working in the same category, concerning beauty, even though what they individually work on is different.
This time, Oishi, the chief editor of CENTRAL Tada and some staff visited Shiho’s studio, “yogalimt” for an interview about their work, and participated in a little yoga lesson from her.
C: We heard that you two are old friends of each other.
Oishi: Right. I knew of her since I had seen her at a night club quite often when I was in my early 20′s, but the first formal conversation between us was held when I requested her to be a hair model of mine, actually.
Shiho: Yeah, he was working at Barberia at the time. My impression of him hasn’t changed at all since then; he looks like a calm and cool guy, and also has an attractive atmosphere about him…. his hairstyle has been the same!
O: We had so many mutual friends and we were fond of the same taste of music. That’s why we saw each other often at musical events and naturally became friends.
C: You started your career as a DJ when you were a teenager, Shiho?
S: Yes. I lived in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture because I entered one of the high schools there and used to go to Hiroshima for parties at the night clubs. At the time, music from the label called Suburbia was really popular. One night, one DJ played some great songs and I asked him what it was. He showed me the jacket sleeve of the record. I remember I tried not to forget it. It was one of Astrud Gilberto’s. However, I couldn’t find the record in my neighborhood! After a little while, I came back to my home town, Fukuoka for my university and I stopped by Ticro Market, which had just started as a record shop next to the hair salon. I finally found that record at the store!
There was a great selection of records: Punk rock fans, Mod music fans and even Jazz fans loved the store. The record buyer seemed to know a lot of nice music and had a fantastic sense of selection.
O: The buyer was Mori. He now works for an event agent, BEA, who is a key person in Fukuoka’s music scene and leads big musical event projects such as, CIRCLE at Umino-Nakamichi. My current hair salon, Ticro hair was initially started by him and the former owner, Kido. The name of the store was also named by Mori. It was taken from a cancer-causing sweetener, Ticro, which was commonly used in Japan until the 1960s. The reason why he chose its name for their salon was he tried to express his idea, “designs that contain a sweet side and a toxic side together in style”, like cute but envenomed, or very conservative but a bit unique. Afterwards, I purchased their salon and also took over the concept of it.
C: How did you get into Yoga as well as music?
S: It’s a long story. I could write a novel about it. First of all, I was studying photography and design when I was at university because I was hoping to design my favorite musicians’ album jacket sleeves. However, I started changing my mind because I got into musical activities. I was going to London often for clubbing and my first job was a record buyer at a record shop. My ex-husband was also a musician, by the way. We got married and lived in Tokyo for a while. It was about the year 2000, Macrobiotics was very popular among my musician friends. Then I started getting interested in macrobiotic diet, and Yoga which is related to it. I was studying about these by myself in the beginning, however, I wanted to learn more, so I started looking for a teacher.
C: You learned from two teachers, who are from India and Hawaii, correct?
S: Yes. My first teacher was in India. I went there in 2009. It was the head family of Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, southern India. I traveled with my two little children. There were some branches of Ashtanga Yoga, but I thought I had to learn the original manner first. After, I was coached by Cathy Louise in Hawaii. Basically, it’s said that around 4 to 6 am is the best time to do Yoga: it’s very quiet and we can concentrate on working out because most people are usually sleeping in this period of time, even night owls finally go to bed around the time. The weather in India is another positive reason. It’s much cooler in the early morning there.
I used to stay up late because of clubbing or something like that when I was younger, but after having my kids, my life totally changed to being active in the mornings for them. It seemed like the right time for me to start living in the Yoga manner and it fit to my time schedule too, according to making those changes in my life.
O: One of my employees is taking lessons from Shiho and I do take a lesson from her sometimes, too. Some people might get a feeling like “Umm…Yoga?” with some hesitation, but actually, it’s so refreshing. Once they try it, it might change their impression of what Yoga is all about.
S: The public image of Yoga in Japan sometimes seems a little too stylish…I often hear from women who are in their mid 20’s to 30’s, “I guess I’m reaching that age where I should try some Yoga lessons.” They believe they need to do Yoga at a certain age, where they seriously start thinking about marriage and pregnancy…. I guess this is because they have learned some famous models have started doing it at that period in their lives. It may be a good business strategy to manipulate people and capture their interests this way.
O: They must have learned from some beauty magazines.
S: It may not matter what makes them interested in Yoga, however, I would like to emphasize that it’s not just for fashion for women; a lot of people are doing it as physical and mental training, in fact, worldwide it’s mostly men who practice Yoga. My studio is not working under the commercial image seen all over Japan. I’d like my students to learn the truth about Yoga.
C: However, I think the two of you’re creating your own beauty styles in the different fields, what have you learned from each other?
O: I think her lifestyle and way of thinking are so cool and convincing to people as much as her appearance as a model or being a DJ. Speaking of running a hair salon, I think we should make a difference from other salons adding some value with something more than just haircut. I hope the experiences of haircuts here make customers feel very special and that coming here is one of the coolest things in their lives. What I mean is that it would be the similar to drinking a low-malt beer from a convenient store at home, or enjoying a pleasant time and having a drink at an attractive bar.
C: Where do you find beauty in women ?
O: First of all, I think the balance of someone’s figure combined with their atmosphere constitutes beauty. It’s also very important to keep skin and hair in a good moist condition after signs of age appear. A smooth texture and the moisture of skin and hair is one of the symbols of beauty and youth, I think. Carbonic acid head spa is very efficient for that kind of problem and I’ve been using it at my salon. Keeping beauty would be the hardest issue for every woman. Of course they need to take good care of their hair at home every day and sometimes need some more accessories for curls with their hair irons. It can be difficult to keep the same beauty two months after a haircut at my salon. In my capacity of being a hair designer, I’d like not only to promise to make them beautiful on the day of having a haircut, but also to give lectures of how to keep themselves beautiful for long periods of time afterwards and I’m sure it’ll consequently lead to branding my salon.
S: I totally agree with his idea. Speaking of my lesson, I teach the proper direction of eyes, breath and postures in the class, but students also need to take these manners and keep doing it in their daily lives. For example, paying attention to whether you’re looking straight into the eyes when you talk to somebody as well as keeping your back straight.
These manners make people look so beautiful.
C: I guess it might be a little difficult to check our postures or motions in our daily life.
S: Actually, it is. However, I think the most important thing is focusing on how you would like to present yourself. It doesn’t matter what people would think about you. Although I’m not even a fan of Paris Hilton, she said: we can change other people’s impressions by how we want to be seen by them, in some article in the past and it was impressive to me.
O: Speaking of my job, I always suggest hair styles to my customers getting their information through each conversation, like “how is your mood today?” and try to find the best style to fit to what they would like. I think professionals need to lead customers with new ideas and move the hearts of them.
S: I do the same thing with my students, too, “What would you like to achieve from Yoga?” First of all, they generally say something along the lines of, “I have no idea because this is my first Yoga lesson… ”, however, once I start listening carefully to what they plan to do, they actually know what they want. They’re just not sure whether what they do is right and being too shy to do what they want. They just want somebody to be supportive and who can push them up to their goals. I imagine it might be the same as the lava issue in the Big Island, which would vanish one of towns there soon. However, people living there are not worrying about it at all. They’re attracted by the huge power from nature and happy to follow their fate. I would be so happy if I could be an entity with huge power and influence on them like the lava.
C: Could you tell us what your future goal is?
O: Since I’ve moved to the new location, I would like to make my business grow in efficiency. I need to stick to how effective my performance could be. Maybe my job is not only being artistic spending hours to perfection of one fantastic style, but also creating many new styles as possible and making more customers satisfied. I would like to be ambitious enough to look for what we should provide customers with. I want to give them fresh ideas to make a breakthrough differently from other hair salons.
C: How different would you be from other hair salons, for example?
O: Like my fashion, I want to work in casual and relaxed style. Other hairdressers usually wear nice dress shirts for work.
S: Most salons tend to be too neat. Actually, I hate getting a haircut or make up by someone else. I don’t want my hair to be trimmed too perfectly. I like some roughness in my style. I always get a haircut from Suguru and say to him, don’t cut my hair!, even though I decided to do it. (Laugh)
O: I know what that roughness means.
S: I want to keep my old natural look as if I haven’t even had a haircut. When I want to dress neat, it’s fine but trimming too nice doesn’t look cool to me.
O: For example, when you’re in high heels it would be fine, but in case of work boots like Dr. Martin’s, definitely you’d prefer ones that have been worn well.
S: (Laugh) Yes, that’s it. No thank you for some brand new Dr. Martin’s or some sneakers. Some brand new Christian Luboutin’s are always welcome, though. For my studio, we do some decoration or give directions of interior design like mirror usage and lighting…I think it is ok when running a business, but anyway, too perfect is not my style.
C: In case you don’t see Yoga as your business, what would Yoga possibly be to you?
S: Mmm…it’s kind of difficult to define. Maybe, it could be a place where I can give suggestions to people for a better life? A better life should be different for individuals, depending on how his or her body frame is and what change he or she would expect to get out of life with Yoga. I think what I can do for them is similar to parenting. I guess most people including me were hearing something like “Did you finish your homework?” from parents when we were young and it must have been very annoying. However, we now realize what parents advised have made more sense after we grew up. I hope my advice would help people like this. I’m also thinking I should make my studio a place where I can cover all kinds of elements in life. Now, I can only give Yoga lessons here, but it would be so nice if we could provide good food and music, or even let them sleep here. Actually, there are many places called “retreat centers”, which are located in the woods or near beaches, surrounded by the abundance of nature. You can have a conscious diet and join a dance party during a day there. It would be so perfect if there were to be some places like that in Japan, too, hopefully, in Hokkaido, Kyoto and Fukuoka!
Hair stylist, Director of Ticro hair(Fukuoka)
He was born in Kurume in 1973. He moved his hair salon to Imaizumi from Daimyo after 25 years since its opening, where the salon started its business originally.
Yoga instructor, Sound Creator
She started her DJ career in her late teenage years and it made her travel around Europe and explore more music there. She experienced some creative activities as a DJ, a music composer, a model, a camera operator, etc. then she started devoting herself to learn Yoga around 2000, and has been getting coaching from her instructors in Mysore of the south India and Hawaii every year since 2009. She is one of the official Ashtanga Yoga instructors approved by KPJAYI. She conducts Yoga retreats with raw food diet in Oahu and the Big Island once a year. Patagonia Japan pro purchase certified