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“Everyone says their products are ‘made in Japan,’ ” says Katsuhiko Nakano. “But it’s not really true. I doubt it.”

In his east Tokyo workshop, across the Sumida river from Asakusa Station, Nakano is surrounded on all sides by handmade bags and tools for leatherwork. He is one of the few leather craftsmen in the city who still make goods by hand. But to be honest, he’s not sure if he is comfortable being called a “craftsman.”

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