With a range of handmade deerskin leather products, a shop in the city of Nagano is hoping to get customers to think about the huge numbers of deer culled each year in Japan, mostly to protect crops, and to deepen their appreciation of the environment the animals are a part of and the value of their lives.

The shop, called Inswirl, was founded a little more than a year ago as a result of a question that was bothering Akira Nagasaki, the owner of a local Italian restaurant that serves game, as he was preparing a venison dish. "What happens to the skin?" the 36-year-old couldn't help wondering.

After asking a local hunter, he discovered how many deerskins are discarded as waste each year.