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A traditional Japanese ladle – FineWoodworking

In the heavily forested town of Akiota in Hiroshima Prefecture lives 87-year-old craftsman Fumio Yokohata, who has been making traditional Japanese ladles for over 70 years entirely by hand. With techniques handed down from the late Edo period, he does much of the final shaping with a one-handed block plane with a curved sole and roughs out the bowl with beveled-edge chisels that have heavily cambered blades, akin to a “scrub” chisel.

Despite the rough and seemingly unwieldy nature of his tools, his accuracy appears almost effortless–though to describe it in such a way feels almost like a disservice to his craft. It takes only one glimpse into his process to know just how practiced his hands are. Though Yokohata’s shop and gallery is the last of its kind in Akiota, it’s certainly still thriving. It’s easy to see why when you see the final product; a true testament to the skill and heritage that goes into each ladle.

Thank you, Mike, for sending this video our way!

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