• home
  • /
  • People
  • /
  • We are travelers

    We are travelers


    YugenInspiration is sometimes a winged bug, at others a sweet nymph and at others an elusive swallow. As you can imagine, this is a vital aspect to us since what we are seeking with our shoes is to place the beautiful things that inspire us in our journey through life at your feet.

    I love wandering through the streets, taking in details hardly noticeable at first glance: the colour of a curtain, some tiny flowers, the faint light that illuminates a window at dusk, a dog's nose timidly peeking over the edge of a balcony, laughter with a Nina Simone song in the background floating out of an anonymous apartment...

    One of my favourite streets for taking long walks at sundown has wide sidewalks where a profusion of trees produces a pleasant breeze. There are also several oriental shops: Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean... I love the smell of the food they prepare and sell. It's a mixture of spices, fish and vegetables that has become irresistible since my visit to Tokyo.

    In one of these shops there usually sits an old Japanese man with a bowl of tea and some sweet rice biscuits who follows me with his smile as I pass him, as if he knew something that I don't. I had never spoken to him, but that day he spoke to me.

    - Konbanwa, he said.

    I remembered from my trip to Tokyo that this meant good evening. I looked up and realised that the moon had risen and that the sky had changed from intense blue to mysterious black.

    - Konbanwa, I replied, and prayed to whoever grants wishes that the old man knew enough Spanish to allow conversation. I liked the calm and absolute expression in those eyes which showed not the slightest trace of the passage of time.

    - Do you speak Japanese? He asked me. Relieved that he spoke my language I replied that I didn't, that I only knew a few basic phrases.

    With a gesture of his tiny wrinkled hands he invited me to sit down at his side. Nothing could have pleased me more just then than to inhale the peace he seemed to radiate. So I sat down next to him in a bamboo rocking chair. I looked at him. He looked at me. Then he stared into space and said:

    - I see you stroll down this street almost every day and every time I see you, you remind me of a Zen garden I made many years ago with my father.

    - A Zen garden? Me?

    - Yes. Your energy is impregnated with the "Yugen" mystery, which is based on a deep and refined beauty that goes beyond words and concrete forms. In Zen gardens we admire and learn from Nature, imitating, more than the results, her intentions and processes. To achieve this we apply the idea of transience (mujo), the ideal of simplicity (karumi), the search for the beauty inherent in emptiness (yohaku), austerity (wabu), a certain melancholy born of the passing of time (sabi) and of course Yugen, which is nothing if not the sense of profundity and mystery.

    - Zen gardens have always attracted me, I replied. I didn't know what else to say because I was still trying to assimilate all that the old man had just told me.

    -They have been used for meditation in communion with Nature for more than thirteen centuries. In contrast to Western gardens they are not made for walking, but are to be contemplated as works of art. You are Yugen, pure, elegant simplicity. He stood up, saying that he was going to prepare me a green tea, and that I should remain seated. I didn't move, and breathed deeply as if I wanted to fill myself with the wisdom of the wind. Yugen…

    It was the perfect concept for a new line of men's footwear with which to feel elegant and comfortable on any occasion. I closed my eyes and abandoned myself to the aromas of the shop: spices, soya, vegetables, wasabi, mashed red tuna, tea... The night enveloped me and with it came new dreams. Profundity and mystery. Yugen...