“Capture Gold with an Iron Ball”

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                                                                 2011 January
                                                                 vol.  01      -
                                                                [Quality Review Japan]
                                                                 Pre-launch issue

                                          web Magazine

QR[Quality Review]
Bamboo Bags by Yusai
Animal Rubber Band

JQR Interview
Saka no ue no kumo
Executive Producer

Yoshiki Nishimura

  匠       Japanese Monozukuri

“Capture Gold
with an Iron Ball”
Masahisa Tsujitani
President, Tsujitani Industry Co., Ltd.        
                                                                                              C O N T E N T S
                                                                                              Pre-launch issue 0-1

                                                     web Magazine

00 Japan seen and heard around the world
           NEW OPENING 1
00 …………………………………
           NEW OPENING 2
00 …………………………………
           FEATURE 1                                                                                                   Photography/ Susumu Nagao
00 …………………………………
           JQR Interview

00         Yoshiki Nishimura
           Executive Producer of              Saka no ue no kumo
                                                                                                 00 Weird and Wonderful
                                                                                                           [ARTS ]

           FEATURE 2
                                                                                                 00 …………………………………………
00 …………………………………                                                                                           [BOOKS]

           QUALITY REVIEW 1
                                                                                                 00 …………………………………………
00 Animal Rubber Bands                                                                                     [CINEMA ]
                                                                                                 00 The children of that Town
           QUALITY REVIEW 2
00 …………………………………                                                                                           [COMICS ]
                                                                                                 00 …………………………………………
           QUALITY REVIEW 3
00 …………………………………                                                                                 00 …………………………………………
           QUALITY REVIEW 4                                                                                [MUSIC]
00 …………………………………                                                                                 00 …………………………………………
00 Syozo Izuishi Selection                                                                       00 JHR(Japan Historica l Ryokan)
           Bamboo Bags by Yusai                                                                                 ESSAY
                                                                                                 00 Inside the Minds of Scientists
                   Master Manufacturers of Small & Medium
00 匠               Businesses Vol. I                                                             00 Japanese Cooking Class
                   “Capture Gold with                                                            00 Trends
                   an Iron Ball”                                                                 00             Events Schedule

                    Masahisa Tsujitani                                                           00             What's New
                    President, Tsujitani Industry Co., Ltd.                                      00             Getting to Know Japan: Useful URLs

 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief   Jun Shinozuka       Editorial Committee       Syozo Izuishi [Fashion Critic]                                         Digital Lights Inc.[JQR editorial department]
 Editors                         Jun Nakaki                                    Tanehide Egami [Executive Producer, Ecole De CuisineEgami]             2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku
                                                                                                                                                      Tokyo 101-0064
                                 Kyoko Ohtsu                                   Shinichi Hanawa [Joint Representative Director Ramsar Network Japan]   03-3518-2224

                                 Aya Kiyono                                    Ryuichiro Matsubara [Economist, Professor of University of Tokyo]      Integral Corp. advertising]

 Editor/Overseas Director        Nana Fujii                                    Fumio Maruyama [High-Tech Industry Innovation Agency]                  2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku
                                                                                                                                                      Tokyo 101-0064
                                                                               Yumi Yamaguchi [Travel Writer]                                         03-3518-4488
 Web Director                    Tokuhisa Maruyama   Additional Editing        High-Tech Industry Innovation Agency
 Designer                        Wakako Kawasaki     Advertising               Kenji Morita[Integral Corp.]

                                                     Planning and Production   Digital Lights Inc.
                                                                                                                                       S P E C I A L
                                                                                                                                  I N T E R V I E W

                                                                The second season of the
                                                                NHK special drama,
                                                                Saka no ue no kumo, has finally begun.
                                                                JQR : I heard that there were some             from university, I heard from my seniors
                                                                difficulties with the dramatization of         in the drama department what an
                                                                Saka no ue no kumo.                            unthinkable idea that was. Saka no ue
                                                                                                               no kumo had been locked up in a safe
                                                                Nishimura: S h i b a R y o t a r o b e g a n   and the key thrown away—we couldn’t

Saka no ue no kumo                                              publishing Saka no ue no kumo as a
                                                                newspaper serial in 1968, after five
                                                                                                               do anything.

is a drama                                                      years of preparation. Until then there
                                                                weren't any novels on a grand scale
                                                                                                               JQR : How did you manage to crack the
                                                                                                               lock, then?

for the times,                                                  set during the Japanese-Sino and
                                                                Japanese-Russo wars. A succession of           Nishimura : I later went to Hollywood

one that looks
                                                                people in the business read the novel          and studied film for three years, and
                                                                and made offers for the adaptation,            after that experience I had a strong

back on the history
                                                                but Shiba never agreed. This was at            desire to make something on a grand
                                                                the height of the Cold War, and in             scale with a strong narrative. At that

of Japan with its
                                                                Japan the political right and left were in     time in Japan there was this perception
                                                                sharp conflict over the 1970 Japan-US          that movies were high class, and TV
                                                                Security treaty extension. That being          was lower down the scale. I wanted to
continental neighbors.                                          the prevailing situation, the rightists        try to fundamentally change that. So
                                                                found it outrageous that the reputation        that was another thing. Saka no ue no
                                                                of General Nogi, whom they worshipped          kumo was ideal material and what’s
                                                                as a war hero, should be demeaned.             more, something like that had never
                                                                The leftists, on the other hand, saw it        been done before.
                                                                as a novel that glorified the expansion           When I got back from America I made
                                                                of Japanese influence. So Shiba was            Shiba’s Nanohana no oki into a drama.
                                                                being attacked simultaneously from             It was around 2000, and Shiba had
                                                                both the left and the right. Saka no ue        already been dead for three years. I
                                                                no kumo is a novel with elements that          visited his wife Midori Fukuda to pay
                                                                are easy to misconstrue. Shiba was             my respects, and at the same time
                                                                willing to take responsibility for what        said that I wanted to do Saka no ue
                                                                he wrote in print, but not for anything        no kumo, adding that I was fully aware
                                                                else. That is to say, he really didn’t want    Shiba had said no to this before.
                                                                it put on screen. There was also the             Mrs. Fukuda asked me why I wanted
                                                                fact that some of his other works had          to make it. When I told her it was
                                                                been adapted for NHK’s Taiga historical        b e c a u s e y o u n g p e o p l e d o n ’t re a d
                                                                fiction dramas, so he was already aware        books anymore, she said that young

                         NHK Executive Producer

                         Yoshiki Nishimura
                         Photography/ Susumu Nagao, Text/ JQR
                                                                of the limits of the medium. He probably       people were exactly who she would
                                                                never even imagined that Saka no ue no         really like to see reading Saka no ue no
                                                                kumo could be adapted for the screen.          kumo. If they see it on screen, then they
                                                                It was for these reasons that the project      might go from that to reading the book
                                                                was deadlocked.                                to see what it was like. I told her how I
                                                                                                               thought that people didn’t have a very
                                                                JQR : The book was well-received and           strong image of the Japanese-Sino and
                                                                even a favorite with the generation of         Japanese-Russo wars from novels, so if
                                                                militant student activists from the late       we could bolster that visual image then
                                                                60s and early 70s.                             readership might increase. She said
                                                                                                               that I had a point, and asked me to let
                                                                Nishimura: I too read it when I was at         her think about it. It was a year before I
                                                                university, and I remember thinking it         got my answer.
                                                                would be amazing to see on screen.
                                                                When I joined NHK after graduating             JQR:It’s been almost ten years since
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            S P E C I A L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I N T E R V I E W
Nishimura:The decision to do a screen        something I wanted to express through                  the book, for example showing scenes
adaptation was made in 2001, and             images.                                                of what was happening back in Japan
announced in 2003. Shooting started              But when we started looking for                    while fighting was going on in the
in 2008. When NHK produces Taiga             things from the Meiji era, there wasn’t                wilds of Manchuria. I wanted to show
dramas, filming starts when one third        much to be found. There’s a surprising                 something of what the women were
of the script is ready. We take audience     amount from the Edo period. However,                   feeling on what you’d call the home-
reaction into consideration, so it gets      new things made in the Meiji period                    front. I would say that those scenes
written as we shoot. But the shooting of     w e re d e s t ro y e d d u r i n g t h e Ta i s h o   are one of the things worth noticing in
Saka no ue no kumo only started once         period, and Taisho era objects were                    a special drama like this one. They are
all thirteen ninety minute scripts were      destroyed by fire during the war. In the               conceivable, easily imagined scenes
complete. Taiga dramas take between          past people probably didn’t think that                 within the framework of the original
one and a half to two years preparatory      something should be preserved just                     novel.
time for filming, and then run for a year.   because it was new.
That’s three years involvement for the           This might be an overstatement,                    JQR:What difficulties did you
chief producer, and Saka no ue no            but people had no image of the Meiji                   have researching the historical
kumo is taking more than three times as      period because it hadn’t been shown in                 background?
long as a Taiga drama.                       a Taiga drama. Images of Hideyoshi or
                                             Ieyasu from the Warring States period                  Nishimura:Military background research                     (left) As executive producer, Yoshiki Nishimura is the supreme commander.
JQR : Along with the delight you must        immediately spring to mind. Questions                  was particularly difficult. Meiji troops                   (right) A collection of documents in the research room at the NHK studio.
have felt at gaining permission to           of whether these are genuine aside,                    were quite different in style and
go ahead, what kind of adaptation            this is because the Taiga dramas have                  operation to Showa troops. The image
did you think about making?                  covered this period thoroughly. TV, that               everyone has of the military belongs to                    wanted to portray people like Saneyuki                         what is your impression of the period?                 be looking forward to season three
                                             is to say NHK, created that visual image               the Showa era. That’s because a visual                     and Yoshifuru Akiyama, who were in                                                                                    beginning one year from now.
Nishimura: After the Meiji Restoration,      of history. In that sense, then, creating              image of the Meiji military has never                      the army, as having a certain broad-                           Nishimura: I t ’s o f t e n s a i d t h a t t h e
the nation under the Meiji government        historical images for the Meiji period                 been created, so everyone has this                         mindedness and a little more humanity                          Meiji period was a time when people                    Nishimura:Ye s , t h a t ’s r i g h t . F r o m
sought knowledge from overseas. This         was difficult, and I believe very much                 image that’s from Showa.                                   to them. I believe that I succeeded in                         thought about the whole country in a                   now on we will be spending our time
created conditions akin to a ‘big bang,’     the point of creating the program.                         This is mistaken. For example, close-                  that.                                                          very straightforward fashion, so I kind                creating the special effects. The third
for a country that had previously been           Another aspect we had to consider                  cropped hair wasn’t a must in the Meiji                                                                                   of feel it’s the story of those people.                season in particular has a grand climax
closed. With the transition from the         was that this drama was a male actors’,                army. Also, things like speaking while                     JQR:What difficulties with filming                             H o w d o e s t h a t re f l e c t o n m o d e r n     with land and sea battles, the Battle
Edo period to the Meiji, people with         or man’s world. The original novel has                 s t a n d i n g t o a t t e n t i o n — t h e s e w e re   come to mind?                                                  times? Nowadays rising in the world is                 of 203 Meter Hill and the Sea of Japan
aspirations came to Tokyo from all           women appearing in the beginning,                      gradually introduced, but the army was                                                                                    not used in the positive sense it once                 Naval Battle, for which we’ve finally
over the country to work indefatigably       but almost never in the latter half. This              emerging out of disorder and confusion,                    Nishimura: We c a r r i e d o u t f i l m i n g                was. The Meiji period, however, can be                 gotten all the materials lined up.
towards making a new country. That’s         was the only place we diverged from                    especially in the beginning,. I also                       in twenty two prefectures and cities                           construed as a time when people could                    Saka no ue no kumo has a final climax
                                                                                                                                                               in Japan, and overseas we were on                              say straight out: “I want to be of use                 similar to that of Chushingura [a kabuki
                                                                                                                                                               l o c a t i o n i n E n g l a n d , F r a n c e , I t a l y,   to my country.” That became twisted                    tale of loyalty and vengeance]. The
                                                                                                                                                               Russia, Latvia, China, the USA and                             with the transition from the Taisho to                 Japanese-Russo war begins in the
                                                                                                                                                               Cuba. We shot a patchwork of scenes                            the Showa era, and Japan became                        second season. There’s no progress
Stare at the clouds floating high up                                                                                                                           w h e re v e r w e c o u l d f i n d t r a c e s o f           distorted by a militarism that plunged it              made at the siege of Port Arthur, and it

in the distant sky; the Japanese                                                                                                                               the Meiji period. For example, we
                                                                                                                                                               d i s c o v e re d t h a t M i s u m i - n i s h i p o r t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              into a hopeless war. In that context too,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I felt that it was very important that the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     all falls apart at the Battle of 203 Meter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hill. Amidst a tragic pessimism over
people once climbed a long steep hill.                                                                                                                         in Kumamoto prefecture was an old                              Japanese people take stock once more                   what will become of Japan, we have a
                                                                                                                                                               stonework port, so we filmed the                               of a period in which Japan was striving                final naval battle in the Sea of Japan.
This tale of an era in which                                                                                                                                   Yokohama port scenes that appear from                          upwards and onwards.                                   Excitement builds up for the final stage,

everyone, even the poor, resolutely                                                                                                                            the first episode onwards there. When                              I also personally feel very strongly               and the closer the end approaches,
                                                                                                                                                               I traveled around the entire country in                        that the times called for a work like                  the scale grows larger as the story
followed their dreams, is one that                                                                                                                             search of a Yokohama port, it really                           Saka no ue no kumo. Yesterday [23                      becomes more complex. I do hope
                                                                                                                                                               brought home tome a certain kind of                            November 2010], North Korea shelled                    you’ll watch the second season, and
still attracts many readers.                                                                                                                                   transfiguration in Japan, and how much                         S o u t h K o re a . O n t h e i s s u e o f j u s t   trust you look forward to the third.
                                                                                                                                                               it has changed scenery-wise.                                   what tomorrow will bring, America
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and Russia are tied up with the four
                                                                                                                                                               JQR:You assembled a line-up of big-                            countries of Japan, South Korea, North                     Yoshiki Nishimura
                                                                                                                                                               name Japanese actors too.                                      Korea and China. This is because of                        Graduated from the University of Tokyo,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the geopolitical history between Japan                     Faculty of Letters, Department of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Occidental History. Joined NHK in 1976.
                                                                                                                                                               Nishimura: I was actually quite worried                        and its neighbors on the continent—                        Produced dramas which have been
                                                                                                                                                               about finding anyone, since filming was                        Korea and China—that keeps getting                         awarded the Monte Carlo Television
                                                                                                                                                               to take place over a three-year period.                        repeated. This has been a very heated                      Festival Grand Prix, the International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Critics Award, and the Agency for Cultural
                                                                                                                                                               Especially since NHK has a reputation                          issue, and it greatly resembles the                        Affairs Arts Prize. Produced the television
                                                                                                                                                               for paying poorly, so it’s not worth it for                    situation that many in the Meiji era                       drama serial Mio tsukushi and the Taiga
                                                                                                                                                               them. But thankfully, a steady stream                          experienced. “Learn from history” is                       drama Doku gan ryu Masamune. Assigned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to Los Angeles as a correspondent in the
                                                                                                                                                               of actors turned up wanting to appear                          a phrase that Japanese people today                        General Bureau for America, and studied
                                                                                                                                                               in the production. Masahiro Motoki, in                         could well bear in mind if they look to                    movie making there. After returning to
                                                                                                                                                               particular, devoted three years to this                        Saka no ue no kumo for hints on how to                     Japan he produced the television series
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Karin and the Taiga drama Hideyoshi,
                                                                                                                                                               and didn’t schedule any other work.                            consider Japan as a country now, and                       before becoming the Drama Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              how it should be.                                          Head. Executive producer of the special
                                                                                                                                                               JQR:After spending ten years totally                                                                                      drama Saka no ue no kumo.

                                                                                                                                                               immersed in Saka no ue no kumo,                                JQR:Shooting has finished. You must
QR 1                          Quality Review

                                                                                             Because animal rubber bands are made from strong,
                                                                                             high-quality materials, no matter how much you stretch
                                                                                             them, they always return to their original shape. The
                                                                                             sight of these cheerful creatures is guaranteed to make
                                                                                             the most monotonous office chore just that little bit
                                                                                             more enjoyable.
                                                                                                                                                       Animal Rubberband

 Animal Rubber Bands
 Photography/ Satoru Naito, Text/ Kyoko Ohtsu

                                                expressed a desire to place them in the        do, and are safe even if swallowed.

 World goes wild for                            shop at the MoMA. Obviously, for a             As I mentioned earlier, I'm an
                                                designer, having something at the New          unashamed fan of animal rubber bands.
 colorful bands you'll                          York Museum of Modern Art is the stuff         As I learned more about them I realized
 want to use again                              of dreams.”                                    that I'd been using these little bands

 and again!                                     So the company's sales rep set out for a       from day to day for a very long time,
                                                New York trade show, bearing hand              totally unaware of their story. Then
                                                packaged product samples. The agent            something else suddenly occurred to
 Just imagine one or two of these               was apparently amazed to learn he'd            me: these may be mere rubber bands,
 undeniably cute animal-shaped rubber           flown all that way for a few lowly rubber      but I can't remember ever throwing one
 bands left casually on your desk. There        bands. But a MoMA buyer took one look          away. Apart from those given to others,
 is no doubt that anyone passing by             at the back of the package, laughed,           whenever a member of my rubber band
 would do a double take. I actually carry       and the deal was done.                         menagerie has gone missing I've
 a few around in my pencil case, and            You see, in addition to the product itself     immediately dived under my desk in a
 there's no shortage of interested glances      being universally understood, the bands        frantic search for it. Has a so-called
 whenever I take one out.                       have a less obvious feature that helps to      consumable ever been reused this
 These popular animal rubber bands can          make them so endearing.                        much? These cute little rubber bands
 be found in stockists of stylish stationery    Usually the back of a product package          have in fact turned out to be one of
 all over Japan. They have also been a          has a list of warnings not to do such-         those all-conquering eco-products, the
 huge hit among Americans and                   and such, or telling you that so-and-so is     power of their design working magic on
 Europeans, to the point where an               dangerous. But in an alternative, more         the subconscious.
 elementary school in one US state              friendly approach to these common              The first set of animal rubber bands,
 actually banned them after it became           warnings, Nagoya penned them from the          “Zoo”, was launched in 2002. This was
 popular among pupils to wear lots of the       animals' point of view, using phrases          followed in 2004 by “Pet”, in 2007 by
 bands around their wrists and trade            such as “Don't eat us! We are your             “Dino” (see photo below), and most
 them.                                          friends.” Ten items of cautionary advice       recently, in 2010, “Farm”. So now we
 Animal rubber bands are the brainchild         are accompanied by illustrations and           are truly spoiled for choice. Animal
 of the firm h concept, which is based in       simple English to make them readily            rubber bands also make the perfect
 Asakusabashi, Tokyo. Animal rubber             understandable to children, adults, and        souvenir. And so these delightful,
 bands were the first product developed         non-Japanese speakers.                         expandable creatures now stretch right
 by h concept under its “ + d (plus d)”         The company's plan proved astoundingly         around the world.
 brand, and are also now its flagship           successful, with the bands becoming a          Even one is sure to make your study a
 offering.                                      global phenomenon to the extent that           more enjoyable place to be.
 The first place to stock the bands was         copies even appeared on the market in
 the shop at New York's Museum of               America. However the difference in
 Modern Art, which was quite a coup, to         quality when compared to the “Made in
 say the least. h concept Managing              Japan” products is obvious. The h
 Director Hideyoshi Nagoya reflects on          concept bands are made from silicon
 how it happened.                               rubber; top-quality 100    % Japanese-
 “We were finally ready to launch the           made silicon that is robust, durable, and
 bands, and wondering who we should             highly elastic. Moreover, they do not
                                                                                                +d h concept co., ltd
 try to sell them to, when the designer         deteriorate the way competing products
                                                                                                                                               Wave pattern
                                                                                                                                               twill weave bag
                                                                                                                                               Wave pattern twill weave bag
                                                                                                                                               Exquisitely woven high-end bamboo
                                                                                                                                               bag with rich color tone
                                                                                                                                               H 20.5cm X L 43cm X W 14cm
                                                                                                                                               Handle height 14.5cm
                                                                                                                                               ¥472,500 incl. tax

    Special Selection
    The Shozo Izuishi Selection  No.1

 Bamboo bags by Yusai

 Bamboo craft soars to new heights
 with beautiful bags
 Photography/Satoru Naito Text/Shozo Izuishi

 The temple of Horyuji in Ikaruga, Nara is     incandescent light bulb by Thomas             Asia, but Japanese madake is the
 home to a large collection of zushi           Edison in 1879. Everyone has heard of         material of choice for bamboo work.
 (miniature shrines) passed down through       Edison, but few know that the filament        Also, madake only flowers once a
 the centuries. Zushi are boxes for storing    for that first bulb was actually made         century, displaying an exquisite bloom
 precious items such as Buddhist statues       from Japanese bamboo. Common                  for a fleeting time. Just imagine: a plant
 and sutras. Fairly compact, with doors        bamboo (in Japanese, madake) is also          that flowers only once every hundred
 on the front, that can be opened and          known for its imperviousness to               years. This alone gives madake an aura
 closed most zushi are wooden, but the         stretching and shrinkage, which is why        of mystery.
 Horyuji collection includes one example       it has been used in the manufacture of
 made entirely from bamboo. Records            rulers for centuries.                         Only the finest
 state it was used on October 1, 761.
 This means it was already there, and          The wonderful soothing                        Master bamboo craftsman Kenichi
 bamboo work of great finesse was              powerof bamboo                                Mouri, who works under the traditional
 already being produced at least 1200                                                        family name of Yusai, generally uses
 years ago.                                    The “Seven Sages of the Bamboo                three-year-old bamboo. His studio is in
 The Shosoin repository at Todaiji             Grove” were seven wise men in China's         the city of Usuki in Oita Prefecture.
 Temple in turn houses a sizeable              Wei period who forsook the everyday           Bamboo is found in all areas of Japan
 collection of keko: woven bamboo              world and congregated in a bamboo             south of Aomori, but bamboo from
 baskets used as temporary receptacles         forest. Wise or not, we too cannot help       Kyushu is deemed particularly suitable
 for fresh flowers and most likely             but feel a certain calmness come over
 employed in sange, the Buddhist               us when walking in a bamboo grove.
 ceremonial scattering of flowers as an        The faint, caressing rustle of foliage, the
 offering to the souls of the dead. These      vibrant stalks of vivid green bamboo, the
 baskets were woven first in a twill (ajiro)   fragrance... Could those towering ramrod
 pattern, shifting to zaru-ami (a “sieve”      forms, stretching endlessly upward,
 pattern named for the bamboo sieves           harbor an ability to soothe the careworn
 commonly used in Japanese kitchens),          human soul?

 and finally finished by binding the edges.    Thus bamboo is not only a graceful,
 It is evident that bamboo ware of some        highly flexible, and indispensable
 sophistication was already being              material; it is also a plant with a
 produced in the Nara period.                  wonderful power to soothe and console.
 Leaping forward more than a millennium        Madake is thought to be native to China,
                                                                                                   The bag's interior is designed as
 we come to the invention of the               and is still found throughout southeast             a silk purse
From top

Wisteria pattern                                                                                                                                                                                           Twill weave bag
twill weave bag (black)                                                                                                                                                                                    Roomy enough to hold A4-size
                                                                                                                                                                                                           documents with ease. Edges are
H 22cm X L 30cm X W 9.5cm
                                                                                                                                                                                                           finished with top-quality Italian
Handle height 13cm
                                                                                                                                                                                                           leather, its attractive sheen a
¥81,900 incl. tax
                                                                                                                                                                                                           perfect complement to the woven
Hexagonal weave                                                                                                                                                                                            bamboo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           H 30cm X L 30cm X W 8cm
bag (purple)                                                                                                                                                                                               Handle height 13cm
H 15cm X L 33cm X W 13cm                                                                                                                                                                                   ¥136,500 incl. tax
Handle height 13.5cm
¥147,000 incl. tax

Wave pattern
twill weave bag (green)
H 16cm X L 26cm X W 11cm
Handle height 13.5cm
¥79,800 incl. tax

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Three-year-old madake of good character is used

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Twill (ajiro) weaving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Warp strips are packed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               tightly together and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               weft strip skipped over
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               two or three at a time,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               creating a step with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               each row to form a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               diagonal pattern. A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               very old style of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               weaving, it is also used
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               for the ceilings in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Japanese teahouses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Hexagonal (mutsume) weaving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Six strips are arranged
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               diagonally to form a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               hexagon, from which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               weaving progresses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               outward. An ancient
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               technique which is also
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               seen among treasures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               of the Shosoin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wave pattern twill (nami-ajiro) weaving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A type of advanced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               twill weaving technique
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               in which patterns,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               script etc. are formed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               by varying the step or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               offset between rows.
   believed to be the finest.                 not lose condition. If younger bamboo is      three-year-old specimens.                                                                      Bamboo deteriorates less than leather,                                              This particular example
                                                                                                                                          To strips, then works                                                                                                                is a wave pattern.
   Yusai's father was also an acclaimed       used, gaps will begin to form no matter       Cutting is also a delicate business,                                                           wo o d , o r me ta l. Y u s a i's b a g s a re
                                                                                                                                          of art
   bamboo artisan, who moved to Oita in       how tightly woven it is, because the          because bamboo scratched or bruised                                                            precious heirlooms to be passed down
   search of the supreme materials for his    bamboo will shrink slightly, becoming         during gathering will be of no use later.     The process of converting cut bamboo             from mother to daughter, daughter to
   craft: further testament to the superior   thinner.                                      The long poles are handled as gently as       into the fine strips used in weaving             granddaughter, granddaughter to great-
   qualities of the region's bamboo. Born     Yusai only uses bamboo harvested as           the limbs of a child. Once cut, they are      involves a number of steps where the             granddaughter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shozo Izuishi
   and raised among this renowned             winter's chill is starting to set in, from    carefully laid down to rest on the spot,      bamboo is split, peeled, and transformed         The madake strips used for weaving are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Born 1944. Joined the fashion industry in
   bamboo, Yusai notes that as far back as    late November to early December. This         in what is an important ritual in the         into thin, supple pieces resembling piano        straight and strong. Proud, even noble.                1964. Izuishi has forged a career as a fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  designer, consultant, and critic. Author of
   he can remember, bamboo was almost         is the job of a master bamboo cutter,         production of bamboo ware. The bamboo         strings. After this, all that is left to do is   But in the warm fingers of Yusai, they                 numerous books including Otoko wa Naze
                                              who chooses a cold, clear day to head         is left there for about two months to                                                                                                                 Nekutai wo Musubu no ka (“Why do Men Wear
   his only plaything.                                                                                                                    to labor hour after hour, painstakingly          bend obediently, meekly acquiescing to                 Neckties?”) (Shinchosha), and Bruu Jiinzu no
                                              into the hills to search for three-year-old   settle, before being cut into shorter         plying warp and weft. Both of Yusai's            their destiny at the master craftsman's                Bunkashi (“Blue Jeans: a Cultural History”)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (NTT Shuppan). His recent work Suutsu no
   Chosen and cut by                          bamboo of good character. Yes, like           lengths for easy handling and brought         hands, all ten fingers, move like those of       hands. Or is Yusai conversing with the                 Hyakka Jiten (“An Encyclopedia of Suits”)
   a master                                   people, some bamboo is of good                down from the hills to rest once more. In     a concert pianist to gradually produce a         strips through his fingers, his spirit and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Banraisha) lecturing males on how to wear a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  suit properly has attracted favorable reviews.
                                              character, and some less so, and it is        this way it finally becomes ready for use     work of art.                                     life force breathing into the bag as they
   Still, why three-year-old bamboo? In       not always easy to tell from outward          in bamboo work.                               But the same type of strips, woven using         chat and joke? Perhaps this is why one
   human terms bamboo of three years          appearances. But it is said an expert         Why, incidentally, is bamboo harvested        the same technique, will never produce           can see a human face in every one of                   Event
   growth is adolescent, with the most        bamboo cutter knows which bamboo is           as the weather grows cold? Because            exactly the same bag. It is this, in part,       Yusai's bags. And why, in my view, bags                From Thursday 10 to Wednesday 16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  March 2011 bamboo bags made by Yusai
   vigorous, sturdy and substantial fibers    ready for cutting right now. Perhaps he       this is when the sugar level in the fibers    that defines Yusai's creations as art. His       crafted by him are living works of art.                will be on display and for sale on the first
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  floor of Ginza Wako.
   and flesh. The reason for choosing         alone can hear the bamboo whispering          is highest. It is this sugar that gives the   bags are sculptures rendered in delicate
   three-year-old bamboo is obvious ten       “Hey, over here, over here. Pick me, pick     end product its glossy sheen.                 bamboo. As such, it would not be at all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               For any inquiries please contact
   years on, intricately woven into a piece   me...” Relying purely on these silent                                                       surprising to find them in use a hundred
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Current Art
   of bamboo ware. Items woven from it do     voices, the cutter harvests the best                                                        or even two hundred years hence.                                                                     (
                                                                                                                                                     あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
                                                                                                                                                     くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ
                                                                                                                                                     おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ   おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ  おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ
    T A K U M I                                                                                                                                                                           TAK U M I
                                                     JQR Select Japanese Skills                                                                      いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく   いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく      いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく
                                                                                                                                                     け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお   け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお

                                                                                                                                                     かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい   かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい      かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい
                                                     Capture Gold With an Iron Ball                                                                  うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ   うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ      うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ
                                                                                                                                                     ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか   ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか      ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか

 From the Workshops of
                                                     The Master Craftsman                                                                            きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう

                                                     Who Makes Olympic
Monozukuri Manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                     あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
          V o l
                                                                                                                                                     くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ

           1                                         Medal-Winning Shots                                                                             おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ
                                                     Photography/Satoru Naito, Text/Kyoko Ohtsu                                                      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお   け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお
                                                                                                                                                     かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい   かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい      かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい
                                                                                                                                                     うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ   うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ      うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ
                                                                                                                                                     ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか   ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか      ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか
                                                                                                                                                     きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう   きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう      きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう
                                                                                                                                                     えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●   えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●      えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●
                                                                                                                                                     あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
                                                                                                                                                     くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ
                                                                                                                                                     おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ   おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ      おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ
                                                                                                                                                     いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく   いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく      いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく
        Everyone knows that equipment plays            other words, they cannot use the             shots, a request he nonchalantly
        a major part in rewriting sporting             personal favorites they train with           accepted. That was how it began.                 け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお   け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお
        records and achievements. It’s also            regularly. This means that the pre-          “In the past, differences of a 100 grams         かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい   かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい      かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい
        well-known that these achievements             competition selection of shots is a very     or so were no problem as long as shots           うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ   うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ      うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ
        are built upon the support of skilled          serious business. No one knows better        didn’t go under the standard weight,”
                                                                                                                                                     ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか   ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか      ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか
        craftsmen in the background who make           than the athletes themselves that the        said Tsujitani. But in 1980, the Japan
                                                                                                                                                     きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう   きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう      きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう
        the equipment. When elite athletes use         choice of shot can make a difference of      Association of Athletics Federations
        equipment that is thoroughly familiar,         one to two meters tossing distance.          adopted strict international standards,          えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●   えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●      えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●
        with capabilities they have mastered,          The current international weight             which meant that the permissible weight          あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
        they can maximize their potential. The         standards for shots are set at 7.26kg for    error had to be within a mere 20 grams.          くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ
        uproar and debate over swimsuits at            men and 4.0kg for women. Only five           About ten Japanese companies were                おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ   おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ      おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ
        the Beijing Olympics is still fresh in         companies which meet these criteria are      making shots at the time, but almost all
                                                                                                                                                     いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく   いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく      いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく
        people's memory. Swimmers from                 officially recognized suppliers of shots     pulled out of production at that point.
                                                                                                                                                     け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお   け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお
        many nations wore a new type of                for the Olympics.                            “It’s difficult to measure weight, and
        swimsuit that contributed to a string of       Japan has its own master craftsman of        difficult to shave it off. If you’re trying to   かきくけ●あいうえおかきあいうえお   かきくけ●あいうえおかきあいうえお      かきくけ●あいうえおかきあいうえお
        competition records being broken.              shot making: Masahisa Tsujitani,             shave off 10 grams, it’s not as though           かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい   かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい      かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい
        All top-class athletes prefer to look          president of Tsujitani Industry Co. Ltd.     you can tell by looking. Shave off too           うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ   うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ      うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ
        after their own gear. It is                    Shots made by Tsujitani were used by         much and you only waste the supply of            ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか   ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか      ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか
        understandable that they don’t like their      all gold, silver and bronze medalists at     cast metal.”
                                                                                                                                                     きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう   きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう      きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう
        unique, custom-made pieces—their               the Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and           Tsujitani tried to write his own process
                                                                                                                                                     えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●   えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●      えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●
        trade secrets, so to speak—being               Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In other          manuals. When craftsmen want to
        touched by anyone else.                        words, every competitor who won a            produce one hundred pieces of work,              あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
                                                       medal at these Games chose to use            they make the first ten, write the process       くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ
        Not many people are aware, however,            Tsujitani’s shots.                           manual, then make the other ninety. But          おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ   おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ      おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ
        that in the sport of shot put, competitors                                                  Tsujitani found that “no matter how
                                                                                                                                                     いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく   いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく      いうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきく
        do not use their own shots. Another            Constant Research                            precise a record I made, I got weight
                                                                                                                                                     け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお   け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお      け●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえお
        little-known fact in Japan is that the                                                      defects in twenty to thirty out of the
        shot put is the very first event in the        Tsujitani reached this level after a long,   ninety.” Then he tried having them made          かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい   かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい      かきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あい
        Olympic Games.                                 hard slog of trial and error.                at a factory with a computer-controlled          うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ   うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ      うえおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ
        Athletes usually arrive one week before        In 1964 he was asked by the president        NC (numerically controlled) lathe. This          ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか   ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか      ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおか
        the start of competition to practice with      of a certain company to make hurdles.        time more than 70           % turned out         きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう   きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう      きくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいう
        the official shots that have been              Tsujitani produced a revolutionary           defective.
                                                                                                                                                     えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●   えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●      えおかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●
        delivered to the ground. This is the first     design, using wire to attach the height      Tsujitani spent a year making the shots
                                                                                                                                                     あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき   あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき      あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえおかき
        chance they have to handle the shots           adjustor weights, that is still used today   over and over again, painstakingly trying
        that will be used in the competition and       for 90% of the hurdles in Japan. In due      to create a manual, but “the weight              くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ   くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ      くけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あいうえ
        decide which one they want to use. In          course he was also asked to produce          changed every time. I was in a bind,             おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ              J Q R S
                                                                                                                                                                         おかきくけ●あいうえおかきくけ●あ e   l e ct J a p a n e s e S k i l l s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          T A K U M I
                                                                                                 Shots are made on one machine. Tsujitani almost

                                                                                                 never looks at the shot while he is honing it, relying
                                                                                                 only on what he senses through his hands and ears        while softer sections create a lower           regret about his feelings at that time.
                                                                                                 (left). The shot pattern is delivered from the factory
                                                                                                 with a boss attached (the “ear” parts). Tsujitani        sound. If there are both hard and soft          The shots he delivered four years later
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From the
                                                                                                 goes through fourteen steps to transform it into a       parts inside the shot, the center of           at the Barcelona Olympics, had a unique                                   Workshops of Monozukuri
                                                                                                 shot with the center of gravity in the center. During                                                                                                                                 Manufacturers
                                                                                                                                                          gravity and actual center of the shot will     touch; the surfaces were inscribed with
                                                                                                 this process he uses his instinct to make the cuts,
                                                                                                 using a cutting-off tool to finally trim off the boss    be different. Specific gravity is heavier in   fine lines. Two years prior to the
                                                                                                 and complete the process (upper right). Shelves          the harder sections, and therefore those       Barcelona Olympics he studied
                                                                                                 packed with tools and implements (bottom right).                                                                                                     Raising Levels of
                                                                                                                                                          parts can be shaved more to align the          fingerprint characteristics from as many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Japanese Technology
                                                                                                                                                          center of gravity with the actual center.      as fifty people. Based on this he added
                                                                                                                                                          The surface of harder sections of metal        lines to the surface which fit human         Having had the quality of his shots
                                                                                                                                                          casting become shiny when shaved,              fingerprints. Shot put athletes from the     recognized worldwide, Tsujitani received
                                                                                                                                                          while softer sections are duller in color.     Tsukuba University Track Club tried the      a request for technical guidance from a
                                                                                                                                                          Tsujitani is proficient at distinguishing      shot out for him and gave him their          major American sports equipment
                                                                                                                                                          hardness from variations in luster and         opinion. As he’d expected, the               manufacturer. He turned it down, but a
                                                                                                                                                          color.                                         overwhelming response was that fine          month later an agent presented him with
                                                                                                                                                          The deciding factor is his ability to          lines made the shot much easier to           an offer of 20,000 US dollars per week.
                                                                                                                                                          sense pressure through the handle of           throw. He felt confident about the next      He agonized over this before flatly
                                                                                                                                                          the cutting machine. In fact, when             Games. As he’d done four years               refusing.
                                                                                                                                                          Tsujitani is honing a shot, he almost          previously, he followed the finals on        Then, two years later, he was notified by
                                                                                                                                                          never looks at it. When rounding off a         television. But again, he couldn’t see       the International Association of Athletics
                                                                                                                                                          shot on the copying lathe, he listens to       any finalist using his shots.                Federations that putting lines on the
                                                                                                                                                          the sound, checking hardness through           Later, however, he heard from an official    shots was an infringement, and told to
                                                                                                                                                          the pressure on his hand in order to pin       who’d been in charge of equipment that       leave them off. This could be taken as
                                                                                                                                                          down the center of gravity. Because he         all of Tsujitani’s shots at the ground had   another form of pressure. He refrained
                                                                                                                                                          uses his hands to sense minute                 been taken by competitors the day            from inscribing lines from then on, and
                                                                                                                                                          variations in hardness, he makes sure to       before the contest. At least their           at the Athens Olympics the following
                                                                                                                                                          take good care of them. Before going to        usability had been recognized by the         year his ability to deliver results
                                                                                                                                                          bed he applies hand cream and puts on          athletes. Four years later at the Atlanta    remained unchanged.
                                                                                                                                                          gloves. People apparently comment that         Olympics, all eight competitors who          Why did he refuse such an exceptional
                                                                                                                                                          the softness of his hands makes them           advanced to the finals used Tsujitani’s      offer for his technical guidance?
because I realized a manual was totally     set out to study metal casting from          actually the most important part of shot-                        look like they don’t belong to an artisan.     shots, and set new records.                  “Well I did wrestle with that” he says,
ineffective,” he recalled. “Even so, I’d    scratch. He decided to train at a local      making, and the most difficult to get                            “It’s important to connect your own body                                                    “but these days Japan is passing its
accepted the job so I couldn’t just brush   foundry. It was lucky for him that there     right. The benchmark of a good shot is                           with the objects you make,” he says. “If       Under Suspicion                              technology on to other countries too
it off and say ‘I can’t do it.’” The        were skilled artisans in the city of         not having the weight within the                                 you do that you can study it thoroughly,                                                    easily. If Japanese technology was
craftsman’s spirit had been ignited in      Kawaguchi in Saitama prefecture, which       stipulated weight standards, but                                 and be able to make things other people        This success drew worldwide attention        holding its own that’d be okay, but
Tsujitani.                                  had grown up around metal casting            matching the center of gravity with the                          can’t.”                                        to Tsujitani’s shots, with European          effectively there isn’t even any economic
                                            foundries.                                   center of the shot. If the center of                             By gaining sure control over three             media flocking to his factory to report.     return. Look what a hard time of it small
A New Start                                 “It took me a year to figure out why my      gravity in an iron mass is off by even                           senses, Tsujitani was able to produce          “Why do your shots fly?” they asked, and     and medium Japanese companies are
                                            techniques hadn’t worked,” he said.          one millimeter, the shot will not fly                            the same shot almost completely, every         were hardly satisfied with the answer        having now.”
Tsujitani resolved to start again from      Metal casting ingredients are made up        straight, or the tossing distance will be                        time. He then took his shot to the             “because they are handmade.”                 “Another thing is, I couldn’t have made a
scratch. He began by ordering shots         of 40% new pig iron, 45% scrap metal         limited. While Tsujitani thought about                           International Association of Athletics         Suspecting that there must be some           world-leading product on my own. The
manufactured in seven countries, used       collected by scrap merchants, and 15%        how to keep the weight within the                                Federations in Monaco, who gave it             kind of device or trick inside, they went    foundry owner and workmates in the
by medal-winners in the Olympics.           general steel that comes out of building     standards, he also kept in mind placing                          their official recognition.                    so far as to ask him to split one in half    foundry town where I studied iron taught
These he split in two. Metal casts          sites and the like. These are all melted     the center of gravity in the center of the                                                                      for them to see.                             me so much. And what’s more, they
contain many impurities, so he wanted       down together, becoming a mixture of a       shot.                                                            Success Born from                              Strangely, the same thing Tsujitani had      never once charged me for materials
to investigate what components were in      lot of different ingredients. The molten     When it comes to this problem, the NC                            Disappointment                                 done ten years earlier was now being         when I made one failure after another. I
the prize-winning shots. He got quite a     metal cools over time, but he realized       lathe, which excels in making things of                                                                         asked of himself. “I split one open to       couldn’t abandon people like that to go
surprise, however, when he looked           that the way in which the temperature        uniform appearance, has no role, and a                           With the International Association             show them there was no trick or device       off and say ‘I made it big in America.’
inside them. In some he found cavities,     dropped varied greatly in different          craftsman’s instincts are all that can be                        counting on the quality of his products,       inside.”                                     Isn’t life more pleasant if you stay loyal
in others he found lead had been            conditions and seasons. So of course         relied on. The master craftsman is                               and having received his authorization          Cutting a shot open in front of people       to the people you owe, rather than go off
inserted. He guessed that the reason the    the rate of contraction would change,        indeed a treasure to be guarded.                                 from the judges, Tsujitani delivered the       raised the credibility of the Tsujitani      chasing money?”
overseas shots were so colorfully           and the size and density of the finished     Tsujitani’s skill derives from his keen                          regulation number of shots to the 1988         brand even more.                             Tsujitani is now seventy-seven years
painted was to cover up the evidence of     product is always different.                 sense of the sound and color of metal                            Seoul Olympics. He watched the shot            Thus Tsujitani’s shots went on to be         old. The shots he once held in one hand
post-production fine weight adjustments.    Another thing that Tsujitani learned was     casting, as well as the pressure                                 put finals on television from his home.        chosen regularly by athletes at the 2000     now feel heavy to him when he holds
When Tsujitani saw these he set himself     that when the metal casting hardens,         transmitted to his palm through the hand                         His shots should have been easy to tell        Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics,             them with two. All he hopes for now is
a new goal: “I wasn’t going to be beaten    the density of the upper part is low,        grip as he works the machine.                                    apart since they were not colored, but         where world records were also broken.        the meteoric rise of a Japanese shot
by those kind of tricks. I wanted to make   while that of the lower part is high. This   From long years of experience working a                          the only shots he saw on the screen            The one time Tsujitani did not submit        putter to capture medals.
shots without any kind of cheating.”        means that even if a shot is honed           lathe, Tsujitani can tell how hard metal                         were colored. Nobody used Tsujitani’s          shots, at the Beijing Olympics, was the
                                            roundly and evenly all over, the center      is from the sound. An amateur could not                          shots.                                         only time that no shot put records were       Tsujitani Industry Co. Ltd.

No Cheating                                 of gravity is not necessarily in the same    tell them apart, but Tsujitani can hear                          “It doesn’t matter how much praise the         broken.                                       2-57-1 Mizutani Higashi, Fujimi City,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saitama Prefecture
                                            place as the center of the shot. Placing     five different levels of sound. Shaving                          shot gets, if no one uses it that’s failure.                                                 Tél: 048-472-9524
Having made this resolution, Tsujitani      the center of gravity in the center is       hard sections produces a high sound,                             Complete failure,” Tsujitani said with                                             

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