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各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと
歩いて見つけた楽しみ方を綴ります。

Awakening a Contemporary Sixth Sense for Urbanite Ethics

佐藤 由佳

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.41

During my student days, when I lived in Asakusa with my grandmother, my main mode of transport in Tokyo was the Ginza Line. For my father, raised in East Ginza, and for my mother, born in Asakusa, the pedestrian-only zone on Sundays was, as they would put it, a wonderland for wanderers. I have countless memories of Ginza from childhood—from the McDonald’s when it first arrived in Japan to ramen shops in underground passageways. I’m sure many people have memories like this. And now there’s a new district landmark, beloved of so many regardless of age or generation. Making my way around in a city and in an era in which lifestyles and choices have proliferated so widely compared to several decades ago, I want to be able to choose what I purchase from an equally evolved ethical vantage point. With this thought in mind, I went on a shopping stroll resolved to exercise an urbanite ethics.

First I go to SIXIÈME GINZA. This spacious boutique in the middle of the second floor is divided into six zones, based on the degree of “tension in the mind” that women tend to experience in their lives, and features a rigorously curated selection of items from Japan and abroad for women seeking fine quality. Contemporary women go on trips to sate their curiosity, or they get cozy and relax, or they dress up and head out to have fun (engage in battle?)—this all goes without saying. A new way of living life is emerging, in which one sharpens one’s sensibilities, free of any preconceived notions, and carefully select the things and life you want. I, too, have sharpened my sixth sense and am prepared to do some ethical hunting.

The MAD et LEN room fragrance is a mixture of aromas distilled and extracted from flowering plants and trees. Impregnated carefully by hand, it uses no artificial colorants or petroleum-based ingredients, and the production of the fragrance involves no animal testing. The manufacturer’s ethics in this regard are rigorous. It’s made in Saint-Julien, a small village in southern France. These are natural resins laid out like gemstones, but there’s also a lava-based item (16,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). Naturally derived is a pleasure, but the blend of aromas is wondrous and remarkable. This expression of a fine sensibility is another appeal. One enchanting whiff all but puts you beyond space and time.

These visually stunning objects, jewelry from REGINA DABDAB, incorporate crystals and other natural stones. The brand was born in San Paulo, Brazil, and its designer studied in Italy. The natural stones exhibit a robust beauty distilled from majestic landscapes, and their shapes and pale colors are enchanting. They incorporate gemstones, but, thankfully, the prices are quite reasonable.

Many apparel brands adopt an ethical approach to their brand perspective, but SkinAware is an especially noteworthy example. The brand produces its products with due attention to production sites, materials, and social context, including using organic cotton exclusively, and designs its clothes to achieve an effortless modern style that’s comfortable to wear. I’m a pretty heavy user of the brand myself. Today, the brand’s designer Hiromi Kani just happened to be in the store.

The dress held by Kani-san is dyed with sage to produce a sandy beige color. Attached to the wideset frame, which has the lines of a men’s T-shirt, are billowy sleeves made of a feminine velvet fabric. The resulting silhouette is strikingly contemporary. The sage used in the dye is an all-purpose herb known for purifying and antibacterial effects.

I’ll say a little about SkinAware’s ethical stance, which impressed me deeply when I researched the brand before. It’s based on three perspectives: gratitude for what comes from nature and the people who live and work in natural settings; striving to be someone who exudes a confidence built from inner awareness; and seeking to achieve a wakefulness based on wearing true comfort on one’s own skin. A holistic approach to producing things that considers the makers, the wearers, and the environment is wonderful. It’s a philosophy I have a great deal of respect for.

Here, I’ve tried on something Kani-san recommended for me.

This translucent one-piece dress makes me want to sail overseas to a resort this minute to wear over a swimsuit. The lovely, delicate mother-of-pearl buttons confer a sense of purity. While the piping on the sleeves and collar have a certain solidity and firmness, the dress leaves an overall impression of comfortable freedom. The carefully considered design is very pleasing. It’s fun to think about wearing the dress in a mood in which you want a more relaxed brand of stylishness.

I go next to LIVING NATURE organics, which features a broad and elegant selection of organic cosmetics ranging from luxurious, certified-organic brands to convenient items that can be used every day.

The PATYKA brand from France has won many fans for its refined aromas. I’m tickled, too, by the packaging, designed to minimize exposure to the air and oxidation. I recommend the Face Cream (7,500 yen) to the right, which contains neroli oil, a highly effective cosmetic ingredient. Only the location at GINZA SIX offers a lineup this extensive.

LIVING NATURE on the left is a brand from New Zealand, a leading country in organic farming. You can apparently find a bottle of Manuka Honey Gel (4,400 yen), which has excellent antibacterial and moisturizing qualities, in the emergency kits of nearly every household in the country. The blessings of the country’s sprawling and fertile land give your skin a lively and immediate boost. All the brand’s products, with the exception of its line for sensitive skin, contain Manuka honey.

The Radiance Night Oil (24,000 yen) to the right is a nutrient-rich oil with calendula, rose hip, frankincense, and other ingredients.

The Collagen Boost Mask (15,000 yen) from The Organic Pharmacy in the middle is aloe vera based and has a fresh and pleasing feel. The dimethylaminoethanol and alpha lipoic acid have a skin-firming effect. It’s a must-have bottle for antiaging care and recommended for adults.

The Organic Pharmacy is a skincare brand built from founder Margo Marrone’s deep knowledge of essential oils and pharmaceuticals. Many European countries formally recognize essential oils and herbal medicine. When people suffer minor ailments, rather than seeing a doctor first thing, they go to a pharmacy or herboristerie, consult with a pharmacist, and get a prescription. Drawing on her knowledge as a pharmacist, Ms. Marrone develops numerous wonderful products that are at least 90% organic. An intense focus on simple products can lead to problems in production due to the variations in ingredients attributable to different production regions and the environment. But plant power is undeniable. I can’t stop wishing Japan had herboristeries with pharmacists like Ms. Marrone.

My last stop today is Meat & Green Shunjukusei, a deli I love for several reasons, one being the opportunity to enjoy aged chicken or pork and fresh vegetables together in a sandwich like a banh mi.

The secret to offering aged meats at this price—they’re typically fairly expensive—is the special aging sheet, developed through joint research with Meiji University. This sheet makes it possible to extract specific bacteria, minimizing the volume of generated bacteria requiring disposal during the production process.

Packed with vegetable and fruit enzymes, these dressings (from 780 yen) can be customized to taste for a particular salad.

While this special aging sheet is also used for products other than meat, here we find Herb Oil Chicken (980 yen), Beef Boiled in Soy Sauce and Mirin (1,280 yen) and Fermented Aged Pork Boiled in Miso (1,080 yen).

There is also a limited-quantity one-year anniversary gift box loaded with aged meat and enzyme-activated dressings. The one in the photo is 9,800 yen. Of course, the meat can be purchased separately as well. Per gram, bacon is 14 yen; special loin, 8.5 yen; rump, 16 yen; round, 16 yen; and knuckle, 14 yen.

I order the Roast Beef Sandwich (860 yen) and Miso Pork Salad (1,280 yen) for take-out. The sandwich is loaded with aged meat with a nut-like fragrance, and when you take a bite, your mouth is filled with a mellow aroma. There’s a good balance with the fresh vegetables—it’s delicious! The sweet miso pork also goes very well with the vegetables and the purple cabbage and blueberry dressing is rich in flavor. The volume was significant, but I finished it all off without tiring of it at all. That was great!

Next time, I want to purchase some meat and dressings, invite a friend and have a dinner party. Eating aged meat made powerful by the blessings of enzymes and flavorful bacteria is undoubtedly good for the body, too.

Eating and making use of things harvested from the earth with traditional and natural farming techniques is a bit like training one’s body to augment its natural healing abilities with the power of bacteria and microorganisms. It would be blissful for many of us if we could cherish a contemporary ideal of strength and beauty, nourished by beneficial bacteria through wholesome meats and vegetables, a bounty from the natural world. In this evolved Ginza, one encounters many of such nature’s blessings.

Text:Yuka Sone Sato Photos:Akemi Kurosaka Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_sato

佐藤 由佳

フリーエディター/ライター。「NYLON JAPAN」などファッションメディアで約15年の編集キャリアを持ち近年では雑誌「i-D Japan」のManaging Editor、また美容サイト「A-Beauty」の編集ディレクションなども行う。ファッション・ビューティ系のカタログや記事執筆、書籍編集にて活動中。ルボア認定フィトアドバイザー取得。
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2018.05.15 UP