What is a ‘Takumi’?
Takumi means: Traditional craftsmanship through dedication and inspiration
A TAKUMI must master his specialism in detail. Takumi, both men and women, are highly regarded in Japan. In fact, it is a great honor to be one.
Years of training
At a very young age, parents watch their child’s development. If there is a takumi in it, the son or daughter is immediately placed in a separate class to develop his or her talents.
During that period it becomes clear in which specialism the budding takumi wants to become proficient. Think of crafts such as glass technique and wood, steel or leather processing.
Many companies offer in-house training to breed takumi. The trajectory to become one is so long and intensive that few reach the finish line. On average it takes 25 years. If they succeed in the end, they can proudly join the guild of honor.
Takumi’s at Lexus
The Japanese premium car brand Lexus guarantees and ensures that every car is perfect.
In addition to the automated production of a Lexus, there are also artisanal operations involved. Think of treatments of leather and wood. They can only be performed by a human being. Lexus’ own takumi’s set an example for all other employees and are widely respected by them. At Lexus this is a select group of nineteen men and women. These professionals have an extra and heavy responsibility as team leader.
At Lexus you can find a takumi in the paintshop. Each car is partly painted manually and a takumi is responsible for that. One of them is car painter Kimihro. He joined the Guild of Honor after refining his technique for thirty years. Now he trains his employees who have to show all their skills, sensibility and passion when they spray a car.
Other takumis meticulously sew the leather upholstery of the chairs. Or focus on the steeringwheel to apply the shimamoku woodworking technique. This requires no fewer than 67 actions that require a total of 38 hours. [See second video for GERMAN sub-titles]