🛠 A Tennessee Woodworker Travels to Japan to Build with a Master Craftsman

When my son moved to Japan he only knew a few words of Japanese. Within his first couple of days he met a man who became his friend. Although they could barely communicate there was a connection that transcended language. Over time, his Japanese improved and these barriers began to resolve themselves.

Mr. Kinoshita is almost eighty years old and has been a craftsman for over sixty years. His specialty is making traditional Japanese doors and windows. Most of the homes and businesses in their town is marked by the hand of Mr. Kinoshita in some way. He possesses the skills of traditional Japanese woodworking and the tools in his shop reflect both modern production and the basic tools of a time gone by. I saw him utilize all of these implements during this project.

When I traveled to visit my son I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in Mr. Kinoshita’s shop and do a simple project with him. I took everything we needed to do this project with me to make a simple keepsake box. Two of them were made and I presented one to Mr. Kenoshita and one to my son. Our craft overcame the language barrier and the basic concepts of woodworking were sufficient for us to know what to do. This video captures some of my journey to Japan through Tokyo, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and finally to Hakusan City where this project took place.

Mr. Kinoshita has been a friend, mentor, and guardian to my son. He is also a father figure to him. I’m not sure why he took on this responsibility but I am very grateful for it. It is not easy having my son live so far away but I find comfort knowing that he is being watched over and protected and that his best interest is being looked after. I can only repay this through respect and gratitude and by honoring the man who I now call friend. So join me in paying tribute to a great man, Kinoshita Takehito.

Music used in this video:

Portrait of Time by Aakash Gandhi
Staring at the Sun by The 126ers
Marigold by Quincas Moreira
Drops of Earth by Aakash Gandhi

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