The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.

-Tasio Odate

Shokunin, in simple terms, would translate into a Mastery of ones Profession.

Finding a balance in delivering a product or service of the highest quality, with a dedication to giving back to ones community or helping enhance the lives of its inhabitants in some way. If you can find this balance, you will be on your way to earning the ‘Shokunin’ title.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a title earned overnight…

Shokunin is a way of life, a way of thinking, a personal characteristic that affects your every interaction in the world. And it’s the way that we aspire to be at RealtyNinja. One inspiring story of a Japanese Shokunin, is the story of Jiro. If you haven’t heard the story of the first ever 3 Michelin Star sushi chef, who runs his restaurant in a Japanese Subway station, then prepare to see a true Shokunin. Check out this video:

Jiro, along with many Japanese professionals, share the shokunin kishitsu, which translates literally to, “Craftman’s Spirit”. The Japanese believe that there is no shame in any profession, as long as you take pride and care in your work. Custodians, electricians, and other blue-collar jobs, are highly respected in Japanese culture, because of their shokunin kishitsu!

In the film, “The Last Samurai”, Captain Nathan Ulgrin makes a strong point of mentioning, “From the moment they wake, they [Samurai] dedicate themselves to the perfection of whatever it is that they pursue”.  The Samurai’s shokunin kishitsu gives them absolute pride in whatever profession, art, or fun they may partake in – because they do it to the best of their ability.

As students of Martial Arts and business, The RealtyNinja team subscribes to the shokunin kishitsu – the Japanese craftsman’s spirit. We are always dedicated to improving and growing and providing the perfect service for our clients. We are always looking for your suggestions and feedback in order to continue on our journey towards the perfect product and service, so please never hesitate to point out room for us to improve.

And also, try to find your own shokunin kishitsu. Use your inner powers of focus and concentration to unlock them. You won’t be sorry!

Hope you learned something, and have an awesome day!