Three from Okinawa recognized as Contemporary Master Craftsmen

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare named 150 people Contemporary Master Craftsmen on November 11. People eligible for the honor must have “superior skills and achievements in industrial technology, traditional craft or cooking fields.”

Three people from Okinawa were among the 150 so honored. They are Sachiko Yafuso (71), a bingata weaver in the dyed fabrics field, Tsuneo Taira (70), a master glassblower in the glass engineering field and Shinji Masuda (68), a tatami maker. The awards ceremony was held in Tokyo on November 12.

The Contemporary Master Craftsman honor system was established in 1967 in order to set a goal for craftsmen to aim in their chosen field and to improve the status and technological level or engineers.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare evaluates candidates recommended by industry groups and prefectures according to criteria, such as exemplary high skills, increasing welfare for labor, and their contribution to industrial development through their craft. When confirmed they should become models for their peers.

Okinawa Prefecture has recommended candidates since the 1973 and 55 people have received recognition up to now.