K.O 7

Aim High! Japan Revival – Craftsmanship

This is a last story of Japan Revival, Aim High series called “Excavation of Craftsmanship in Japan”. Nowadays, market share of Flat-screen TV has been dominated by the South Korean Makers.

South Korean auto industry, for example Hyundai, has been catching up to the Japanese ones. In the mobile phones market, the South Korean are struggling, but still recognizable whereas the Japanese ones even cannot cut into the top share.

The brand of made in Japan lost in the shine. Is it true? Is there some underlying strength of Japan?

Tsubame city, Niigata Prefecture

There is a city called metal processing. It is Tsubame city in Niigata Prefecture. The craftsman in metal processing has started to produce of luxury tableware, wine glasses, and etc. The wine glasses, for example, they made are excellent. You pour white wine into the glass and it keeps the wine cool at least for 20 minutes. And also you can still enjoy the fragrance of the wine. That wine glass “ARC wine glass” has been exposed to the Maison-de-Object exhibition in Paris.

These are one the examples of the many craftsmanship commodities in Japan. Most of the craftsmen don’t know how to monetize from what they have in value, but some people noticed that local industry is a treasure trove of treasures.

Tsubame City Official Site

Magician of the design, Ken Okuyama

Kiyoyuki Okuyama (Ken Okuyama) is a well-known designer in the world. He designed Enzo Anselmo Ferrari, the Japanese bullet train “Shinkansen” E6 series and forth. He is a general producer of Made in Japan. Now he tried to create something new in “Made in Japan”. So he travels to find out excavation of craftsmanship that is buried in the local industries in Japan. ARC wine glass has been produced by Ken Okuyama.

What is more, he designed the Japanese super car called K.O 7. This spider, Lightweight Spartans, is a limited-production car. It is made of dry carbon, cutting alloys, and embossing aluminum panel. No paint at all. The skilled craftsman who Ken Okuyama found out all over Japan has created each part of K.O 7. K.O 7 is so simple, but powerful. And that leads to the functional beauty phase of the Japanese sword. You can check out his website.

KEN OKUYAMA DESIGN

Automobile manufacturers, Honda Aircraft Company

Do you know Honda, automobile manufacturers; establish Aircraft Company in Greensboro, North Carolina? Yes, they did and actually they are making a small jet costing about 400 million yen. That small jet has some unique characteristics compared to the other manufacturers such as 30% spacious rooms. The conventional ones couldn’t achieve that spacious indoors. How do they make it possible that most of the existing companies failed to accomplish?

It has been 26 years since Honda started to develop their brand small jet. It started from scratch completely. The small jet composed of lots of parts, 10 times as much as the automobile does. Furthermore, there are much more stringent safety standards than the automobile.

Michimasa Fujino, its president, has a flash idea that is putting the engine on top of the wing. It has been 11 years of development of that jet. There is common sense that if you put the engine on top of the wing, it yields airflow turbulence and lift power becomes smaller. So the conventional ones installed the engine in the rear fuselage meaning the jet had narrow room inside. Honda did lots of wind tunnel experiments and finally found out the sweet spot. That spot also minimizes the air resistance.

They finally achieved flight testing in December 2010 and were a successful experiment. Honda Jet had attracted lots of attention at the aircraft show and gained 100 order all of the sudden. Michimasa Fujino visited the manufacture site every day as an engineer even after he became the president of that company. He is saying that the Japanese craftsman thinks with their own hands such as touching and feeling. That is truly the characteristic of the Japanese craftsman. Honda Jet production begins this spring.

HondaJet | Official Site of Honda Corporate Jet Aircraft

Proof of the reconstruction of the disaster

Blue-collar rather than white-collar who have supported the Japanese manufacturing. Creative-class people are in the field, blue-collar.

Concept architect, Kenichiro Sako has an idea that towns exist in harmony with the sea. Those towns would become the symbols as proof of the reconstruction of the disaster, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

The hydroponic culture has been applied to the affected area of sea salt due to the disaster, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Lots of Japanese companies have joined this project such as the technology of hydroponics from Kagome and the photovoltaic power generation system from IBM Japan.

We the Japanese cannot rely on our politician anymore. So those who can depend on your own have started already. Series of Aim High! Japan Revival, will it happen or will we make it happen again? What do you think?

Honda Jet


 

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