Hiroshima by Hand
For centuries, Mazda’s home town of Hiroshima has been a centre for craftsmen. Expertise is passed from generation to generation to produce talented takumi (craftsmen) like 84-year-old swordsmith Tatsuo Koshimizu, expert brush-maker Shirõ Takeda, third-generation Takamori-e lacquer master Kinjo Ikkokusai, and traditional Japanese musical instrument maker Kenzõ Ogawa. And Mazda gladly keeps this tradition alive with expert takumi part of its vital DNA…
Sohei Miyashige, Die manufacturing (Left)
“Mazda is the world’s best when it comes to stamping skills, a clay model can be made with only a five to ten micrometer difference from the designer’s plan,” proudly claims Miyashige.
Isamu Shibata, Gear maker (Right)
In 2010, in recognition of his skills in gear production and processing technology, Mazda’s Shibata was decorated by the Japanese government. “It’s the age of computers, but even if you follow the computer’s principles it doesn’t work 100 per cent,” he says. “It’s the five senses that we rely on most. You can’t be an expert in a mere ten years. I honed my skills over decades.”
Takashi Okamura, Color designer (Top right)
“The paint on a car body is only 0.1mm thick. Working with thicknesses as thin as hair, I have to create a beautiful color and protect the car…a difference of one micrometer greatly affects the brilliance of the color,” explains Okamura.
Koji Wakamatsu, Audio system designer (Middle)
“In this CD there are 20 pieces of music of different genres. This is my most important item,” says Wakamatsu. He constantly listens to this CD in a bespoke audio room so the ideal acoustics are ingrained in his memory. “Then I spend many weeks in the tuning process with an engineer from the acoustics equipment manufacturer. I’m always remodeling.”
Masaki Ota, Badge designer (down right)
Ota first swapped the mouse for a brush when he was working on the 2003 Mazda Washu concept car. “I looked again and again at ancient calligraphy and burned it into my heart. I spent many hours sitting with my legs crossed, writing letters with a brush,” he remembers.
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