The J-factor

Toyota design team visits Mr Takaba's knife factory


There’s a Japanese sword – the Katana – with a history of over 800 years. This sword goes all the way back to the times of the Samurai.

Recently, our global design team had the opportunity to visit Hiromune Takaba in Seki, in the Gifu prefecture, in Japan. Mr. Takaba is one of only 300 Japanese sword artists – Tosho – whose aim is to recreate the unique sword-making technique of the 15th century, now lost.


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Mr Takaba ran a workshop for us at his establishment. By having us make a small knife, the idea was we’d get an idea of the functional beauty of traditional Japanese manufacturing. Also – we were given a chance to touch real Katana. Going to the Seki forge was a real j-factor experience. Understanding the j-factor is absolutely essential for the design team. The “j” of j-factor of course stands for Japan.


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Learn more about Hiromune Takaba:


Learn more about j-factor:

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