Japanese craft culture – BusinessToday

Most people are familiar with Japanese business practices, including the famous Kanban (just-in-time technique) or TQM (total quality management) or Kaizen (continuous improvement) or Muri, Muda and Mura, emphasizing on the right way to do things. . These inherently Japanese concepts took the world by storm between 1989 and 2003. The latest “land of the rising sun” concept creating a buzz in India, which aspires to become a global manufacturing power through its Make in India initiative, is Monozukuri.

Translated from Japanese, Monozukuri literally means “production” or “making things”. In a broader sense, however, it embodies a synthesis of the technological prowess, craftsmanship and spirit of Japanese manufacturing practices. At a recent Mozozukuri conference organized by ABK-AOTS Dosokai Tamil Nadu Center and Nikkei Business Publications Inc. and hosted by Overseas Human Resources and Indus-try Development Association (HIDA) in Chennai, the theme was “Creating innovation together” .

The gathering was hosted by Yosuke Mochizuki, Director of Operations of Nikkei Business Publications, in the presence of Consul General of Japan Seiji Baba. Tamil Nadu Governor Konijeti Rosaiah opened the event. Noting that Indo-Japanese cultural relations date back to the 6th century, Rosaiah said the two democracies share mutual interests. “We share a comprehensive vision of peace, prosperity and cultural relations. The two countries strive to develop closer dialogue and collaboration, to promote peace, democracy and development.” India is the largest recipient of Japanese official development assistance.

Rosaiah also said that Indo-Japanese trade, which stood at $ 16 billion in 2013, is expected to reach $ 50 billion by 2019/20 and that Monozukuri will help create innovation together. “Monozukuri is now often cited among industry professionals around the world as technical jargon originating in Japan, describing the flow of the manufacturing process from development and design to mass production. It describes a sincere attitude towards production with pride, skill and dedication is a way of pursuing innovation and perfection, ”he added.

Mono is the thing that is done and Zukuri means the act of doing, but Monozukuri involves more than that. It can be better compared to the word, craft. However, in crafts the emphasis is on the artisan, while in Monozukuri the person who makes a thing is underestimated, while the emphasis is on the “thing” that is made. This, he said, reflects the Japanese sense of responsibility and their deep respect for the world around them.

Monozukuri emphasizes that manufacturing must be in harmony with nature and must be useful to society. When any human object or effort is used, there must be a benefit to society and, at the same time, the balance between production, resources and society must be maintained. As a result, Japanese manufacturing is not experiencing a slowdown. For example, Japan is the only advanced country that maintains an annual steel production of over 100 million tonnes, while other major steel-producing countries are experiencing collapse. This could, however, be due to falling prices for iron ore and coal globally.

Monozukuri encourages workers to “put their minds to work”. They are fully empowered and trained to deal with different situations to create a high sense of belonging. It’s about making products as well as instilling pride and passion in their work. It requires creative minds and is often tied to a skill that can be acquired through long learning practice rather than the structured programs taught in traditional schools. Monozukuri represents the manufacturer’s philosophy on how to make the product – the philosophy that is deeply rooted in the Japanese manufacturing tradition. We can say that Monozukuri is a philosophy rather than a technique or a method. Characteristically, every facet of Japanese life – from architecture, design, food, fashion to social rituals – has an underlying philosophy, and the Japanese people can translate these philosophical ideas into production.

As Chennai is a major manufacturing center for India, the conference focused on how to improve the quality of operations and plant productivity, enhance the performance of design development and R&D , and develop human resources capable of performing the tasks. Senior executives from Indian and Japanese companies participated in the one-day event. The focus was on discussing target markets, products and how they should be manufactured, what was needed to advance manufacturing capacity, the role of emerging companies, and what Indian companies could do. learn from its Asian neighbor.

Senior executives from Renault Nissan, Lucas TVS, IIT Chennai, Virgina Tech India Research and Innovation Center, Yamaha Motors, Carbarondum Universal, Pansonic Welding and Omron attended the event and spoke.

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