英語でニッポンをフカボリ！ DID YOU KNOW…?『職人』
まずはKey Words & Phrasesから。
craftsperson / craftsman / artisan（職人）
closely associated with（～と密接に関わる）
the former / the latter（前者・後者）
win the confidence（信頼を得る）
Did you know that Japan has a number of brilliant craftspeople?
・Japan has been renowned for being good with hands and creating excellent products.
・Representative example of those who have manual dexterity is a craftsperson, and they have been closely associated with social and economic development in Japan since ancient times.
・Japan has a wide variety of craftspeople, and their craftsmanship contributed to reinforce the country’s position as the preeminent economic power by supporting manufacturing.
・Although the number of master craftspeople has been decreasing in recent years, their meticulousness and loyalty towards works are still outstanding.
3 Questions for Digging Deeper! 《 もっと掘り下げてみよう！ 》
What kind of craftspeople do Japan have?
Japanese craftspeople are classified broadly into two categories of workers for traditional handicrafts and consumer products. Typical examples of the former include workers of Japanese traditional paper, dyeing and lacquer. The latter are artisans who make tiles, furniture, Japanese traditional doors and windows.
What is so great about Japanese craftspeople?
One of the greatest things about Japanese craftspeople is that they try hard to achieve perfection and once perfection is achieved, they try to improve it further.
As a result, a number of high-quality products are born and many of them have gained popularity in the international market. For instance, Japanese kitchen knives have won the confidence of chefs overseas for their fine edge, beautiful and detailed design.
Why is the number of craftspeople getting smaller?
It is said that the biggest reason is decline in sales. Unlike in the past, there are an endless number of convenient and affordable products available in Japan, which makes people avoid purchasing high-priced and delicately crafted products. As a consequence, sales of crafted products have been decreasing.
Although there seems to be a certain number of people who aim to be craftspeople, unless their earnings improve, the industry struggles to secure successors.