Japanese distinguish themselves from other Asians in that they are craftsmen and care about the process in how they do things.
Other Asians – Koreans, Chinese etc care only about the result of what they do.
Japanese care about the process, the materials, the artisanship, the aesthetic value, the nature of what they do. It is not uncommon in Japan to find people who dedicate their lives to doing one thing whether it be crafting handmade swords or guarding temples and shrines.
I always equate Japan’s craftsmanship to Germany’s – both countries are known for paying particular attention to the details of the design and engineering of what they make.
This is a high end Japanese pool cue made by Mezz/Exceed costing $2400. Again – this is a pool cue, an item that some others might find only as an instrument to play pool, the Japanese have managed to inject their craftsmanship into.
This is the Sony SA-Z1 near field speaker system costing $6k+. You can hear how passionate the Sony engineer was talking about this.
These are the watchmakers working on a Grand Seiko – Grand Seiko watches cost upwards of $5k-$10k. Grand Seiko dials are known for having the best finishing in the entire business – better than even high end Patek Phillipes.
or the Urushi laquer that adorns the dial of the Seiko presage limited edition
For 5 years the disciple of a master Japanese swordsmith does nothing but craft Katanas. No salary, no days off, just complete devotion.
Manufacture of high end badminton racquets by Yonex the leading supplier
Engineers of VAIO talk about the design of the laptop – again you can feel how passionate they are about every small detail of engineering.
You can hear about the amount of detail and attention that it takes to make the flagship Fostex TH900mk2 headphones
See how much the Tokyo restaurant chef cares about the ingredients, the process, the experience of eating? Not just the result of the dish itself but everything.
This man has worked his entire life for the sole dedication of supplying a single vending machine in the countryside which he refills with fresh rice and curry every day.
Somewhere in a remote corner of Japan, a family has been dedicated making high quality ramen for generations.
Takumi – A 60,000-hour story on the survival of human craft – follows four Japanese artisans who are dedicating their lives to their crafts, including a double Michelin starred chef, a traditional paper cutting artist, an automotive master craftsman and a carpenter for one of the oldest construction companies in the world.
Stunning McIntosh level design and quality from high end Japanese audio companies like Accuphase and Luxman
This is the special cultural element about Japan that other Asian countries or even Western countries don’t really have is their dedication to their craft.
That is why made in Japan is considered much more prestigious than made in China or made in any other Asian country, is because Japanese have cultivated this reputation as caring a great detail about their craftsmanship, design, materials and artistry and this has reflected in their products. Although made in Japan usually costs much more than made in China – you get a product that is premium quality, was made with care and attention and will last a generation.