Japanology – Small factories

I am so humbled to watch a short documentary on the magnificent talent of Japanese artists. At times, the tasks at hand require a level of precision that can only be achieved by feels and instinct of humans. For instance, a stainless steel bar needs to have its diameter reduced from 52.01 millimeter to 50 millimeter. Exactly 2.01 millimeter must be removed. No more, no less.

The talent of these skilled workers is remarkable, only bettered by their off-the-chart regard for what they do. All the interviewees have years and years of honing their craft and pride beams out of their face whenever they talk about the work they do. The products of their labor don’t often get mentioned or recognized by end users, yet as the video shows, the parts play a pivotal role in high speed trains or rockets or healthcare.

This type of craftsmanship, dedication and pride in their work seems like a lost art. I have nothing but deep deep respect for Japan, its culture and the example they show the rest of the world.

Inspiring story about Wasabi

If you have ever eaten sushi, you must be familiar with Wasabi, a green mustard that can hit you right in the nose and leave you speechless for a few seconds. It’s not for everyone, but if you can eat the mustard, chances are that you’ll fall in love with it like I do.

I came across a very informative, soothing and inspiring clip on Wasabi industry. The industry isn’t sexy or talked about like others in the mainstream media. So it’s great to see a mini documentary about it. I love clips like this. In the clip, you’ll see the process of growing wasabi plants in a remote yet beautiful area in Japan and learn why the wasabi we eat at restaurants is most likely fake. At the same time, the story of the main character is really inspiring. He keeps on working and plans to continue doing so in the next 10, 20 years despite his old age and the tragedy of losing his son.

If you could be like him, working in a specialized field and offering the world a precious material, with nature in the background like that, compared to the office job in an urban building that you may or may not like, what would you choose?