In Japan, the term takumi is used to describe a master craftsman who has perfected his skills over years of painstaking work and dedication. It is reserved for those who are at the very top of their profession. At Nissan's expansive engine factory in Yokohama, four men have been designated as takumi. They are the sole assemblers of the engines that power one of the most heralded sports cars in automotive history.
The four takumi of Nissan's Yokohama plant are Takumi Kurosawa, Tsunemi Ooyama, Izumi Shioya and Nobumitsu Gozu. Collectively, they share over 100 years of exceptional work in their chosen field. These engine craftsmen are responsible for hand-building every awe-inspiring 545-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 engines found beneath the hood of the Nissan GT-R, production vehicles and the racecars alike. Each engine is assembled with care and precision by one of these four individuals.
Once an engine is completed, the takumi craftsman proudly mounts a plaque bearing his name upon the completed masterpiece, serving as a timeless reminder of the high level of craftsmanship and expertise that went into each work.
Many Nissan GT-R owners have visited the Yokohama plant and to meet the takumi engine-builder who hand-assembled their Nissan GT-R's engine. Even popular American late-night television talk show host and car collector/aficionado Jay Leno has made the trip to the plant to meet the takumi.
Nissan's Yokohama plant is a model of both technology and efficiency within the industry. In its nearly eight decades in existence, it has produced more than 35 million engines, including the exceptionally-capable VR38 that powers the legendary Nissan GT-R high-performance sports car.
"Yokohama is the plant where our company was established, and we're proud to make Nissan's flagship engine here. It represents the pinnacle of the Nissan brand," said Nobuhiro Ozawa, Yokohama plant manager. "We adhere the nameplates of the takumi who hand-built these engines and put their souls into each one with a sense of responsibility."