Miroku Corporation




Miroku Techno Wood Co. Ltd.
Production department

Takao Ooi

Bring out the value of the wooden steering wheel, and appeal this to the world

Take on the finish of parts that cannot be done by machine

Ooi says, "When I look wood products, I just look at the types and processing methods of wood at my occupation." I belong to the section in charge of processes such as sealing, painting, polishing and inspection of conduits after wood processing. Currently, a large part of steering wheel production is automated, but our process is responsible for parts that cannot be automated.

Filling work is one of the "processes that cannot be automated". Because wood conduits vary in size, depth, and angle, skilled artisans need to manually fill the holes. I use the whole of my hand such as a fingertip or a palm, apply it to the correct point, and apply a sealant to make the conduit flat by checking the shape. If you do not make it completely smooth, a defect will occur at the time of painting, so the work of a master skilled in handling solid wood is essential. In addition, the polishing performed before painting enhances the adhesion of the coating, and the inspection visually detects flaws and the like that cannot be seen depending on the angle and distance of the illumination. And, by coating, a coating is applied repeatedly to ensure a film thickness that will not be damaged even if a ring or the like hits and prevents discoloration. In order to paint smoothly and to finish the surface to a mirror surface, it is also important not to draw away the trash and dust that will be the enemy. Therefore, daily clean activities are also essential. The piled of steady work keeps the quality of the hand-friendly wooden handle, and has been highly praised by customers.

Finish the "wood" of the natural material which is not the same thing in the same way

Ooi was assigned to a painting team at the time of joining the company and engaged in painting for about 10 years. I saw the painting of my seniors and stole the skills, and while teaching them in practice, I continued to look at the techniques of my seniors again and again, and continued to concentrate on the days of technology and experience.

"Because wood is a natural material, there is not the same thing. It is a very difficult task to process it the same way and make it of the same quality, and it is still a place that cannot be done by machines. I think that it will not be impossible to make the same thing, because there is a reason why the craftsman's skill is needed, and it makes sense for us to work. Always thinking about how to make it possible and working on the work. This is my commitment." Ooi, who talks about his passionate feelings, makes his eyes shine, saying, "I'm happy with my work and I cannot help it." The word "work is fun" heard from many of the Miroku craftsmen. The "funness" that continues for the same work for many years may lie in an insatiable quest for one's work. Keeping that feeling is also an essential condition that comes to be called "takumi".

Ooi works closely with the processing staff to work together as it works closely with the front and back processes so that it can respond quickly to changes in timber. In order to make such collaboration possible, it is important for all team members to try their own way through trial and error. An excellent team that is well-coordinated creates liveliness and strengthens cohesion. This is also nothing less than the Miroku tradition.

I want to convey the beauty of wood products to everyone

"I still have many unknown and inexperienced things, but that's why I want to continue learning. I will learn the technology of my predecessors, catch up and overtake them, and convey "The beauty of wood products" all over the world. Even in sports cars etc., there are cars using wooden handles manufactured by our company, so people who were not interested in materials until now are familiar with wood and quick action by light weight I want you to taste the feeling and so on." The Miroku steering wheel, which has been applied to such Ooi's “hand of Takumi” and has been drawn to the limit as wood, has attracted many people.