Hattori Masanaga: Tsuba, Kozuka and Menuki Artisan / by john cheng

I normally don't go clicking around randomly in Youtube, but I was happily surprised when I found this documentary about Hattori Masanaga who is a Tsuba, Kozuka and Menuki Artisan. Watch the video as he tells the story of his growing up while he intricately and expertly carves out beautiful patters and imagery.

Something that stuck out to me in this video was his learning process. He says in the video that when he unknowingly began his apprenticeship, he was never really taught how to do things. His mentor just told him to take some material, carve a line through it and once he was done, grind it away and start again. Masanaga only learned his craft by watching. Watching his mentor as well as the other apprentice work on their craft. This struck me as interesting, because looking back to how I learned, this is very much how I picked up some of the skill sets that I carry today. This is the reason why I watch so many process videos, to learn more and more in order to satiate my appetite for learning. Who knows, maybe I'll try carving a tsuba now.

This is truly craftsman ship at its finest. Taking pride in your work no matter what, is something that you don't see much anymore. I will be the first to come clean to that. Even though my job allows me to be creative, sometimes complaining gets in the way and my craft suffers. I hope in this new year, I will be better at taking pride in what I do and do it to the best of my ability as I hone my skills day to day just as Hattori Masanaga did in his earlier years.