Published April 2020

Shizuka Ijuin

Photo by Yoichi Yabe

Shizuka Ijuin

The wooden sailing ship "Synara" is undergoing restoration work at a special dock at the Riviera Sibonia Marina in Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The famous boat, which was built in England at the beginning of the 20th century using the best materials and technology of the time, was nicknamed the "Lady of the Sea" due to its splendid appearance, and was loved by celebrities around the world.It is finally making a full recovery. We are on the countdown to.
We at the Riviera Group view this historic sailing ship as a treasure that should be passed down to the future, and we have poured our heart and soul into its revitalization through a meticulous restoration process reminiscent of the Shikinen Sengu. In addition to recording the process in detail, we entrusted the task of writing down the memories of this challenge and the thoughts of those involved in it to an artist known for his insight and knowledge of style.
Naoki Prize-winning author Shizuka Ijuin. Mr. Ijuin has been watching over the restoration of Shinara since the construction ceremony in June 2017.

In addition to writing history
I want to talk about "what's next"

The collaboration between Mr. Ijuin and Riviera dates back to ``DREAM of RIVIERA'', which was published as a commemorative publication. This is a book that describes the charm of ``The Riviera Country Club (RCC)'' in Los Angeles, USA. This book could only have been written by Mr. Ijuin, who loves golf so much that he has traveled to famous courses around the world, played at RCC many times, and has often talked about his special feelings towards RCC in his books.
``I met Chairman Sou Watanabe, the owner of RCC, through golf.We hit it off and decided to write this book, but it took nearly four years to take shape.In the first year or so, I was too busy. I couldn't decide on the best way to write about the various charms of RCC, so I couldn't put pen to paper.I read the literature, studied the history of RCC, and visited the site again and again. As I carried the book and listened to what the staff had to say, I finally realized that it was not enough just to write about the history.It had to be about RCC's ``now'' and ``future''...'' (Mr. Ijuin)・Hereinafter referred to as "")

Why avoid all trouble?
Will it be revived?

“I heard about the restoration of Sinara from Mr. Watanabe when we went sailing together at the Riviera Sibonia Marina. I was moved by the scale and romance.”
Although he had promised Watanabe that he would write a book about Shinara from Ijuin's unique perspective, he was even more confused than with ``DREAM of RIVIERA''.
``I come from a seaside town, and I grew up watching ships since I was a child.However, I'm not a yachtsman, so I don't have enough knowledge to say anything.
In fact, when I first saw the Shinara on pedestal, I couldn't quite imagine what it would be like to bring this old ship back to life. Mr. Ijuin, who knows more than anyone else the significance of what a company called Riviera does by eliminating all difficulties, has thought carefully even when writing RCC, and when approaching the unknown subject of Synara, he was confused about this passion. It is not surprising that this occurred.

In a special dock for two and a half years
I go there often

Still, over the past two and a half years, Mr. Ijuin has visited the dock frequently and regularly exchanged words with the people who are dedicated to Sinara. ``As I interacted with them, something became clear to me.
The people leading this restoration project are veteran shipwrights and engineers from overseas who have inherited the techniques from the time when Synara was founded. They came across the ocean from their respective countries for this project. If you're just trying to fix a decaying ship, it's more efficient to work on their home turf. However, both the masterminds, Paul Harvey and Benjamin Hobbs, decided to settle down in Japan for a year, saying, ``There is no chance like this.'' Because it was meaningful to come to Japan and work there.
I now feel that the significance of this project is not just to convey old European technology to Japan and revitalize it.
For these people, whose vocation is boat building, coming to Japan may be a matter of their way of life. The world's oceans are connected. Crossing the connected ocean, we will pass on the universal treasures of humanity to the next generation. Mr. Watanabe, who entrusted this project to them, also had these thoughts in mind. That’s how I look at it.”
This insight is amazing. Riviera's corporate philosophy is ``Live a fulfilling life in harmony with nature.'' Synara is a ``flagship'' that tells us everything about our philosophy.

When we launched, we
What kind of scenery do you see?

The Synara Project will soon reach its climax. ``Synara is regaining her beauty as a 'lady' day by day.As someone who saw her with only bones left two and a half years ago, that alone is impressive, but the accumulation of things so far is nothing short of 'beautiful'. I don't think it can be expressed in words alone.
At the unveiling in June, a large number of people will be able to see it. That would mean a lot.
What kind of scenery will we see when this ship floats on the sea and the wind catches its sails? I’m looking forward to it.”
The novelist's gaze on Shinara is infinitely kind and passionate.
Immediately after I heard this story, I heard that Mr. Ijuin had been discharged from the hospital safely. We at Riviera are looking forward to Mr. ``returning to the field'' as soon as possible, together with Shinara, who has been watched over by Mr. Sensei.

Synara Project

The Times and Daily Phoneegraph newspapers in Sinara's hometown, the United Kingdom, became interested and published articles on the story. I'm surprised at the level of interest from Western media.

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