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A Quality Tale from Tochigi: Takumi


Kaminokawa-machi, Tochigi – August 4 – Tsutomu Sakuraoka is a master craftsman, or Takumi, at Nissan’s Tochigi plant, working for the company since graduation from technical high school.

Sakuraoka established his prowess at die-making early in his career, winning a global skills contest.

  • He has spent over 38 years in perfecting the art of milling, and this year he was awarded a Yellow Ribbon by the Japanese government for commitment to craftsmanship in the handling of milling machines, and for contributing to future generations through instruction of hand milling skills.

Here are some reflections on Nissan and on being a Takumi:

“Automation has increased in the die-making process. In my job, manual processing has also been replaced by NC machine processing. But who actually manages this process and improves the science of automation? Clearly, it is people.

I believe people cannot create something excellent without developing the basic skills and techniques to craft things by hand. To make better things, hand skill is fundamental for monozukuri in Nissan.

Monozukuri brings me joy…pain and even suffering, yet it is still the most enjoyable thing in my life.

We must take our training by senior colleagues and share with our teams and next generations. We can’t keep skills to ourselves, but should hand these down to others.”

Education, Engineering, Factory, Japan, Nissan, Nissan Motor Corporation, People, Production

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