Ministry selects 150 leading master craftspeople for annual award


The labor ministry said Sunday it had picked out 150 contemporary master craftspeople, praising them as leaders in their respective professions with outstanding skills.

The contemporary masters award ceremony was held in Tokyo on Monday.

The list of masters included Masahiro Koizumi, 73, from Kyoto Prefecture, who renovates bronze bell-shaped vessels using techniques based on ancient casting technologies.

Also selected was Tsuneo Taira, 70, from Okinawa Prefecture, a leader in free-blown glass processing.

The oldest among the selected masters was Tomiko Obayashi, a 70-year-old beautician from Kyoto. The youngest was Shuichi Matsumoto, a 45-year-old assembler of electronic machinery parts from Aichi Prefecture.

By prefecture, Aichi had the largest number of modern masters, with 16, followed by Tokyo with 12, Kanagawa and Hyogo with 11 each, and Ibaraki with eight.

The annual selection of contemporary masters was launched in 1967 with the aim of elevating the status of craftspeople and raising the levels of their skills.

The latest list brings the total number of masters to 6,346.