Tour No.04 "Nigiri-Basami in Ono"
Name: Yoshimi Fujiwara
Technique : Nigiri-basami Artisan
Location : Hyogo Prefecture
How long have you make nigiri-basami?
I began working at the age of 18 years old. Now I am 68 years old, so I have made nigiri-basami for 50 years.
■Why did you select your work?
My father was nigiri-basami artisan, and I thought I was determined to become so.
■How many nigiri-basami do you make a month?
Recently I make about 200, because orders decrease. However, at the peak
of production, I used to make 2000 a month.
■You only have made millions of nigiri-basami, what is the greatest pleasure for you?
When my works went right!
■What is the most difficult process of making nigiri-basami?
Making the blade tips. It determines everything.
Usual artisans make more thick tips than mine. The more we sharpen the tip, the more difficult to polish. When I have hesitation or anxiety, I never can polish rightly.
I must polish as if I know I can do it without any doubt. It may be too cool, but it is the kind of Zen's mind.
■What is your dream?
I hope to work more five years and want to leave my footprints on the world, as far as I can. Recently I sent my nigiri-basami with my brand name to the customer in Hokkaido. It was very happy!
(He has made his nigiri-basami mainly for the whole sellers. He must carve their brands on them. )
■Will the nigiri-basami's tradition be inherited by the next generation?
Now almost all artisans are over 60. We can not live on this work now, and no one wants to learn making nigiri-basami. Within 20 years, genuine nigiri-basami will die out.