“I’m tired of sitting down!” Keiho Nakahara says with a carefree smile. He has been sitting cross-legged while working from morning till evening. “It seems young people have weaker lower backs, and can’t sit with their legs crossed all day.”
He is 79 this year. Just after the war, he graduated junior high school and began on this path. It’s been 64 years since then.
Nakahara made his way in the world alone as a woodworker, and the hardships never came to an end.
“I think it was a number of small things stacking on top of one another that allowed me to get this far during my lifetime. It was quite difficult until I became acknowledged as a craftsman.”
“If you’re a salaried employee, you have a stable income to feed yourself with, and plenty of leave. A craftsman cannot live like that.”
If customers don’t purchase, he can’t eat, but he is resists lowering the quality of his materials or works.
Nakahara dedicates himself to maintain a high level of technical skill and the popularization of furyuumen masks. As a result, he has received many public commendations, such as his recognition as a person of merit by the Saga Prefectural Government.
“I can’t do big or great things on my own. I am very much indebted to the many people who have helped me. That’s all it comes down to.”
He continues his carefree smile as he looks at a new wood block to carve down today.