Kinzaburo Kitamura is your typical hard working and inconspicuous craftsman. Still spry at 73 years old, he has been producing high quality incense sticks and fragrances from his little shop in Sakai City, Osaka for over 35 years. Although incense sticks are commonly made throughout the world, it is one who is able to blend fragrances, create recipes as well as producing the sticks, can he or she be truly called a master. Yet with no one to succeed him after he retries, the world of handmade incense sticks may soon lose one of its greatest artisans.
‘The Japanese Artisan Series’ is a non-commercial project by Edwin Lee (Hong Kong) in collaboration with One Ocean Partners (Singapore). It focuses on documenting little-known but highly skilled artisans and tradespeople across Japan centering on themes of tradition and succession. With Japan’s ageing population, low birth rate and reluctance of young workers to enter such niche industries, these people’s traditional skills are in danger of being lost.
Watch other films in the series: https://vimeo.com/album/4537634
Mr Kiitamura’s shop 薫主堂 can be found at 2-1 Kitahanchōnishi, Sakai-ku, Sakai-shi, Osaka
Music: ‘Conversations’ by Tiny Music Studio (Licensed from Premium Beat)
Sony a6300 Slog2
Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4 / Sony Zeiss 12mm f2.8 / Zeiss ZF 50mm f1.4 / Nikon 100mm f2.8
Beholder DS1 gimbal
Edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Colour Graded in Davinci Resolve 15