MoonStar was founded in Kurume, Japan, in 1873, and manufactures footwear using traditional techniques.
MoonStar has been making shoes in Kurume, on Japan’s southern Kyushu island, since 1873. The company originated as a manufacturer of traditional tabi – ankle-length socks with a separated big toe, typically worn with thonged footwear.
For almost 150 years, the company has continued to develop innovative solutions for contemporary footwear, with an uncompromising attention to form, function, and tradition.
The MoonStar brand is praised for its ‘Shoes Like Pottery’ series – a collection of trainers crafted using a rare manufacturing technique called ka-ryu. The shoes are produced from carefully chosen high-quality materials, and assembled by skilled craftsmen whose handiwork cannot be replicated by a machine.
The soles are made from raw rubber that can be moulded almost like soft clay; and similar to the way Japanese pottery is fired, each shoe is baked in a 120 °C kiln for 70 minutes. Heating the rubber with sulfur, a process known as vulcanisation, makes the material stronger and more flexible, and the special ka-ryu technique gives each shoe a unique texture and finish.