Engraver Displays Traditional Skill in Olympic Torch

Society Culture Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Hideo Sato, 79, cast the mold for the emblem on the torch for the Tokyo Olympics, aiming to pass on metal-engraving skills from Japan's Edo period (1603-1868) to future generations.

On its front, the emblem features traditional "kumi-ichimatsu-mon" checkered patterns, created with Sato's 64 years of craftsmanship.

Although Sato, a resident in Tokyo's Adachi Ward, was slated to run as a bearer of the torch to let the flower of his life bloom, he was unable to realize this as the torch relay on public roads has been canceled in many parts of the Japanese capital due to the resurgence of the novel coronavirus. Still, he carried the Olympic flame during a "torch kiss" event on Sunday.

At the age of 15, Sato started his career as an engraver using steel chisels designed to put patterns on metals. He became an apprentice at a mold builder in Tokyo's Asakusa district, leaving the city of Otawara in Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, where he was born and raised.

He started his career as an independent engraver in 1964, when the previous Tokyo Olympics took place. At the time, he had been motivated by Yoshinori Sakai, a person of the same generation, who served as the final torch bearer at the event 57 years ago and lit the cauldron at its opening ceremony.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020