My, this is an impressive safe.
Yep this is certainly some safe. They don’t make them like this any more. I guess it weighs about two or three tons. It’s been here about a hundred years!
So through the earthquake of 1923?
And through the wartime US firebombing?
Pretty much right on this spot.
It must have been almost the only thing in Asakusa standing.
Yep. And everything inside was OK. Customers’ stuff. But I should have sold it. A fellow came in about 10 years ago, he was from Kyushu, he offered me 2 million yen. But at the time I thought I would need it. It would cost 10 million to make a new one. Now I’m not sure what to do. It will cost a fortune just to move.
You don’t have many watches in this watch shop.
That’s right. Because I may not be running this shop long. You know, I was ill last year. I was in hospital for a month. I had a stroke, you know what that is? That’s why I cleared out my stock. And I gave up doing eyeglasses. These counters were full of glasses. I could go at anytime. I’m 76 you know.
You look pretty young. I guess you watch your diet.
I used to eat whatever I liked. But now I watch out for salt. I’m very careful now.
Won’t you be sad to close the shop.
Yes I like how people drop in and chat. That little boys’ kimono on the wall was brought in by an old lady who lives around here. She made it. She’s a bit nutty in a good way. Just asked me to put it up. Hahaha. So I did. I’ve been doing watches since I was 18. The owner and my father were from Niigata. You know 40 or 50 years ago we were very busy. We did repairs and supplied watch shops all over Tokyo. We had 10 staff. Then the owner, he was into speculating. One day, well, he stopped turning up. About 20 years ago. Then I was left running things. Then business hasn’t been so good.
If I bring you my watch can you fix the crown?
No I don’t do repairs any more. Since my stroke you know. My hands look OK but I don’t want to risk it.
Do you bet on the horses?
No I just like to watch.
There’s a cat cafe upstairs in this building.
Have you ever been up there?
No. I’m too busy.
Can I write about your safe?
Yes of course. Maybe someone will buy it. Please look on me kindly.