Lexus is releasing a 60,000 hour film about “Takumi” artisans



Don’t worry, a 54 minute documentary version will also air on Amazon Prime Video, exploring what it takes to become the ultimate master of any craft

SINGAPORE

60,000 hours. That’s the length of time the Japanese consider is required for someone to practice something before they can be considered a master of their field. Put another way, that’s the equivalent of working eight hours a day, 250 days a year, for 30 years.

When it comes to craftsmanship, the Japanese have a word to describe such masters: Takumi, and it refers to artisans of the highest order, who have dedicated their lives to their respective crafts.

In honour of this cultural tradition, Lexus has commissioned a documentary unveiling the world of the Takumi, and also explores if and how human craftsmanship can be honoured and preserved in a world that’s increasingly being taken over by machines and artificial intelligence (AI).

Takumi – A 60,000-hour Story on the Survival of Human Craft follows four Japanese artisans who have devoted their lives to their crafts.

They include Hisato Nakahigashi (top), a fourth-generation kaiseki chef with two Michelin stars to his name; Nahoko Kojima (above), a Kirie (Japanese papercutting) artist who crafts giant sculptures out of paper; Shigeo Kiuchi (below), a Miyadaiku carpenter who helps construct shrines and temples for the oldest existing company in the world (founded 578AD); and Katsuaki Suagnuma (bottom), a Takumi and 32-year veteran of Lexus, who oversees the final inspection line for cars such as the new Lexus LS.

The Clay Jeter-directed (Chef’s Table) documentary made its debut at the DOC NYC film festival in New York, and is narrated by former British Museum Director Neil Macgregor. In addition to celebrating the immense skill and extensive practice of the four talents, the film also includes interviews from world experts in craft and AI, questioning whether the most devoted craftsmen and women can survive in a world where machines are designed to act more precisely and faster than humans ever can.

There are two versions of the film. The full-length version measures in at 60,000 hours long (nope, that’s not a typo), and loops scenes of each artist’s skills over and over again to highlight and convey the dedication and hours required to become a Takumi. In case you were wondering, that’s 2,500 days, or nearly seven years of non-stop, around-the-clock viewing, and can be viewed at www.takumi-craft.com.  

The more conventional, 54-minute long documentary, is available on Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Instant, Google Play and iTunes.

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.