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The role of the plasterer

In February, 2007, rather warm winter “due to the global warming”  in Yokkaichi, Mie Pref. in his hometown, MATSUKI and his peers work plastering of the newly build house. They have been working more than a month, because many plaster work is required for that house. Normally, 80% of the house consists of walls, so the role of plasterer is essential. Through the day to day work at the site, much communication by craftsmen are required. It is learning and teaching process. All team member contributes to build the house for the owner. Especially when the house is a traditional Japanese building, carpenters, joiners, paperers, and tatami floor makers work all together in balance. Good finishing is achieved by close and deep relationship.  MATSUKI says he always thinks what he can contribute to  the team. He also tries to “enjoy in cheerful way” even though construction site is not always easy.

People would be able to witness that when people come to see. 

Contribution

Since the age of 15, MATSUKI has been working fully close to 30 years. During those years, less plasterers work were required, and there was time to concern the future of the plasterer. However, with his devotion, people started to understand its necessity, and MATSUKI appreciates that chances were given to him. His workplace expands not only his hometown, Mie Pref. but nationally.  By the experience of being the plasterer invited to various places in Japan, MATSUKI re-recognized the mission of plasterer. 

Brushing up the skill, seeking for better material, arrangement to meet modern life style utilizing traditional method, all these are required. And moreover, cultivation of younger generation is MATSUKI’s mission now. Since he feels the mission, his approach to work naturally changed, and appreciates the every moment of working. 

There are many young plasterers and apprentices gather from all over Japan to become “the genuine plasterer.” They are hard workers. To contribute them, he says that he has to offer young people to get involve to quality work. And they need to brush up not only the skill but mind. Technique and skills can be acquired over time naturally.. . MATSUKI thinks that applies to all the young craftsmen, and he seeks what he can offer. 

In everyday work

MATSUKI says he is 53 years old now, and he can’t predict how much he can work fully more. However, he says he wants to correspond the expectation by the architect,carpenter, or home owner more than 100% by being diligent. 

He says, somehow, through work, the owner of the house and carpenter “let him work freely”. It is the sign of plasterer’s recognition by them and it is truly grateful. MATSUKI says that “it was worth continuing working!”

Through the collaborative work by professionals, naturally it brings quality work. Plasterer is in charge of construction site because the owner can’t attend to observe the site all the time, and once the wooden work is completed, the carpenters leave the site. Plasterer has the role to navigate the construction and to bridge many stakeholders. 

There is another reason for him to be grateful…..  He thinks  “that there was a chance given to young plasterers and apprentices to work professionals”. When those young plasterers become independent, and having hard time, they would recall the days they have worked with professionals.

To contribute and correspond the expectations, MATSUKI works fully day to day. 

Profile

Kenji MATSUKI, born in 1963, Nishi-Nippori, Tokyo, Japan.
At the age of 15, MATSUKI became the apprentice of a plasterer. At the age of 21, he established “Matsuki Plaster Workshop” At the age of 33, he won the first prize of “the 33rd National Plasterer Competition”.  MASTUKI collects soil from various places in Japan and set formula to create original material to improve the quality of plaster. 
In 2000, MATSUKI hosted children’s workshop “ to get familiar with soil”
In 2002, he was recognized as a Construction Master by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and in 2006, he won the Meister award by National Craftsmen Association.  
In 2003, he established “tuchikabe.net” to correspond inquires of soil walls. Through the connection, he visits sites in Kanto and Kansai regions. He also has proactively participated in “children’s mud ball workshops”. Currently, he works with young plasterers as well as his seniors to continue his practice. He says that even it is hard work, he enjoys every moment.