Umbrellas of Happiness

02007-12-26 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

PingMag MAKE – The Japan-based interview magazine about “Making things” » Archive » The Man who Makes Umbrellas of Happiness
These days, most people use disposable plastic umbrellas that only cost a few hundred yen. However, even in this disposable era, there is still a professional craftsman who makes “real” umbrellas. This man learned the family trade from his father, and makes each beautiful umbrella by hand, one at a time. What is it like to spend your whole life hand-crafting this common item which most people take for granted?

1 Comment

  1. yumiko

    What if everyone put that much consideration into what they did into everyday life? It would not be doing something because it was a habit, but because you wanted to to do it. What would be the result?

    The gentleman in the article could have retired, stopped doing what he was doing completely, but continued. It is part of his life, passion and he does the best job, every time. I thought it was a wonderful story and not just about the umbrella.

    My father’s generation was full of (mostly) men who owned their own businesses. They did not work for a company and there was considerable stress involved when you know that if you do not go to work, there is not a paycheck at the end. I can compare as an adult now how much care they put into owning that business (gardener, grocery produce business, television repair, gas station/car repair, etc.) and it was hard because their paychecks did not include, “sick-leave”, a bonus, paid days off, promotions, profit sharing, etc.

    Doing what you do well, “…There is nothing simpler than making an umbrella. But it’s very deep.”
    I loved this quote. Anything on the surface or if the person is skilled, can look easy. It is a wonderful story.


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