An apprenticeship in a traditional Japanese craft can be daunting for even the keenest student. Often lasting years and with few vacation days, the commitment requires unwavering endeavor and patience, without even the guarantee of a lifelong livelihood on completion. Many of Japan’s crafts are in decline, offering artisans an uncertain future.

For a foreign national, then, the path to apprenticeship and beyond — to employment or self-employment — can seem impassable. Not only is the craft new and often unlike anything experienced before, but the language and culture of the teaching environment is unfamiliar.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.