60,000 hours is a long time. 60,000 hours is 2500 days. 2500 days is nearly seven years. Seven years ago we were probably hungover watching Countdown. In seven years time, we’ll probably be living in deepest outer space, subsisting on whatever it is astronauts eat.
60,000 hours is also the length of time a new documentary produced by digital agency The & Partnership on behalf of Japanese automobile manufacturer Lexus is. Yep, you read that right: somehow they’ve put together a seven year long film.
The film, Takumi, has been directed by Clay Jeter, one of the figures responsible for Netflix’s deliciously classy Chef’s Table series. The term “Takumi” is, incidentally, a word that stands in for the highest level of artistry that it’s possible to obtain in Japan.
In a press release accompanying the Takumi trailer — which clocks in at an incredibly slender two minutes — Lexus states: “Some people say that it takes 10,000 hours of study for the average person to become an expert in their subject. But in Japan you are not considered a master of your craft until you have spent 60,000 hours refining your skills. That’s the equivalent of working eight hours a day, 250 days a year, for 30 years.”
The film seeks to examine how craftsmanship can thrive in a world in which most industries are nodding towards automation and AI. It follows four Japanese professionals – “a double Michelin-starred chef, a traditional paper-cutting artist, an automotive master craftsman and a carpenter working for one of the world’s oldest construction firms,” – who embody the Takumi spirit.
A slimmed-down 54-hour version of Takumi is set to hit Amazon Prime Video on March 19.