Small workshops are common sights in Tokyo’s suburbs. Local operations producing unknown things for unknown companies. Yet whatever it is they do, they all seem to have been around forever, invariably employing a handful of people at most. And with its dimly lit interior and distinctive oil and metal smell, this one was no different. Well, except that it was, as very few are also home to beautiful and lovingly cared for bonsai.
I love it. What a contrasting scene! 🙂
Thank you. Yes, it really was. A very nice surprise.
The large number of small factories are a favourite subject of several of the NHK programs I watch each week sometimes run by just a single very old guy sometimes assited by an equally old spouse, who’s unique expertise is still required in this age of sub micron capable machines. The most recent was abiout a small cluster of such factories that have been brought together by one guy to build satellites – sadly their first was destroyed in a launch vehicle failure but it was still wonderful to see them throwing their skills at such a thing. Didn’t see a single bonsai though – your photograph shows a suprising scene and yet the tree looks like it belongs.
Yeah, amazing how many of these little places there are. Makes you wonder what’ll happen when the owners finally call it a day.
And totally agree. It was totally out of place, and yet at the same time it wasn’t .Even more out of place, however, were the prize bantams in the back of workshop. Yes, bantams. Too dark and cramped to photograph unfortunately, but seeing them there made the bonsai seem perfectly normal.
It looks more the place for BSA Bantams!
These small, oftentimes family owned and operated workshops have been the backbone of many of Japan’s industries for generations. With very low overhead and labor costs they can supply industries like auto manufacturers with parts used to make cars at a low cost. It will be interesting and important to see how these small shops fare in the coming years.
Yes, it really will, and like you said, they have played such an important role for so many years.
It is. Very nice. Always enjoy seeing a well cared for bonsai.