Experts in their respective fields study for many years and for many hours, and when the opportunity presents itself to apply what they’ve been passionately learning, only then does the actual mastery start. What’s taught in books cannot be replaced by actual experience, and a fascinating documentary called Takumi, takes us into the world of the highest level of artisan in Japan.
In Japan, you are considered a master of your craft if you’ve spent at least 60,000 hours refining your skills. That’s equivalent to weking eight hours a day, 250 days each year, for 30 years. Takumi, a 60,000-hour story on the survival of human craft, follows four Japanese artisans who have dedicated their life to mastery. The documentary is made by Clay Jeter for the luxury automotive brand Lexus, and is due for release on Amazon Prime Video on March 19, 2019.
The film has two versions, a 54 minute documentary, and a '60,000' hour cut which loops scenes of each Takumi's essential skills of their craft they repeat over and over again to highlight the hours, days and years of practice involved. The artisans are a double Michelin starred chef, a traditional paper cutting artist, an automotive master craftsman, and a carpenter for one of the oldest construction companies in the world, all four of which will be given great perspective and attention.
Narrated by former British Museum Director Neil Macgregor, combined with interviews from world experts, the film presents how we should honor and preserve the personal and passionate touch of human craft in a world where technology and machines are all about precision and speed. By the year 2050, estimates say the machines would have surpassed us in every field, and in a short amount of time, we will see technology progressing exponentially. How do we keep the human touch intact, safe keeping it for generations, when we live in a world that is full of shortcuts?
The essence of Takumi is to gain a sublime understanding of the nuances of a particular art. To be focused and spend countless hours on one thing, and to carry on. It requires one to empty the mind and focus in a way that is simply not possible when still acquiring a skill.