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Kenkoh Sandal - Inspiration & Insight

Sandals with nubs are everywhere. They're sold by major sporting goods companies as well as speciality manufacturers. Where did they originate and who was the first person to design them? Documented evidence indicates their origin as being in Japan in the early 1950's.

"I feel much better all over now that my reflexology areas are being stimulated. My balance has improved too."

In 1927 Kyu-kichi Yamanashi graduated from high school and moved to Manchuria, a territory in China occupied by the Empire of Japan. There Kyu-kichi managed the accounting division of the South Manchuria Railway Company. At the end of the Second World War Kyu-kichi, his wife Mitsuko and their three children moved from Manchuria back to Shizuoka, Japan. After their grocery store failed to work out, Kyu-kichi decided to try manufacturing the traditional Japanese GETA wooden sandal.

Shortly after getting the GETA factory running, Kyu-kichi contracted Tuberculosis primarily due to poor living conditions, malnutrition and over work. As a result of his illness Kyu-Kichi's right lung was removed and he began a difficult recovery. Two years after his surgery (1954) his recovery was not proceeding well. A fortuitous visit by his best friend from his railroad days, doctor Sho-ichi Akitsuki, changed his life. The doctor suggested using the Aodake-Fumi technique of stepping on cut bamboo and massaging the soles of his feet. Amazingly Kyu-kichi began to recover. Excited by the effectiveness of Aodake-Fumi, Kyu-kichi began experimenting with other Taiwanese folk remedies, such as Soku Shindo.

It was then, in late 1950's that Kyu-kichi began to develop a prototype for marrying his GETA sandals with Soku Shindo and Aodake-Fumi. The most successful prototype had wooden nodules embedded on the wooden GETA sandals. Although effective, the wooden nodules were uncomfortable so Kyu-kichi quickly designed a "healthy" GETA sandal with rubber nodules.

By 1970 the design had been improved and the Kenkoh brand was created. The sandals were immediately embraced both in Japan and overseas. The success of the original Kenkoh sandals spawned a great deal of imitators, but none having the history, passion or success of the Kenkoh sandals.

Today Kenkoh Massage Sandals are the only clinically-proven sandals providing relief to customers worldwide.

"Along with exercise & reflexology Kenkohs helped my plantar fasciitis go away."