Backseat Players in Our Production

According to the government, we have experienced the longest economic expansion since after the WWII. Although it seems like we, rank and file, are left out of the economic boom, more than 500 of Ferrari cars are annually sold in Japan, while more than 1.5 million of Toyota cars. “In the beginning the engine existed.” As Enzo Ferrari (the founder of Ferrari) left these famous words, it’s engines that feature Ferrari. The world’s leading Ferrari engines assembled by hand can be said to be the result of expert technique and experience. This doesn’t mean Toyota is inferior to Ferrari. It’s also an act of GOD to annually produce, in high and constant quality, millions of precision machines consisting of more than 30,000 pieces of parts. In other words, they are world leading companies of semi-handicraft manufacturing and production management, respectively. 

Now, what about wooden furniture? Indeed, it’s much simpler: such many parts are not necessary. However, hand work is essential like Ferrari, and we produce much more products than Ferrari (much less than Toyota, though). We are positioned in between them, but there’s one factor making our production management more difficult even than Toyota’s. We need to produce furniture in high and constant quality from non-constant material (wood). No two wood pieces are alike. Don’t you think it’s great? Please allow me to brag a little about our production management, because they are rarely spotlighted.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.