Wasabi Stories vol.194: “Anyone can get to a certain level depending on his effort”


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“Anyone can get to a certain level depending on his effort”

Today’s story-teller is former prime minister [W:Morihiro Hosokawa].

The story is about making pottery.

Hosokawa was inspired by someone to make pottery and he came up with an idea to learn pottery seriously.

It is not in his nature to finish things halfway. He always carries through to a certain level and so was learning pottery.


Firstly, when he decided to learn pottery, he looked for a potter who shared the same sense to work as an apprentice.

And he found a potter, Tsujimura, in Nara. He called him and went to Nara to be his apprentice right away.

Tsujimura had a buzz-cut and he was unshaven. He was living in a house that he built by himself with many dogs and cats. His lifestyle was wild.

Hosokawa says, “Tsujimura cared little about business titles. He didn’t care whether the person was a governor, a prime minister, or whoever. If I had been someone else’s apprentice, the potter must have flattered me no matter how bad I was. I don’t think I could get to where I am now then.”

During his stay at Tsujimura’s, he used the potter’s wheel day after day.

There were only three phrases that Tsujimura said to Hosokawa during his apprenticeship:


“You are such a stupid fellow.”

“No, not good, throw it away.”

“You are persistent, aren’t you?”


After a year and half, Tsujimura said it was time to stop. He meant that Hosokawa could ‘graduate’.

Finally, Hosokawa left the ‘kingdom of wilderness’. Currently, he is making pottery in Yugawara, [W:Kanagawa Prefecture].


Hosokawa says, “Sometimes I put a large hanging scroll by painter [W:Taiga Ikeno] on the wall in my room. It says that ‘One success leads to millions of success. It makes me realize that if you make continuous work no matter how clumsy you are, anything can get to a certain level.”


The NIKKEI 1/28/2010 by Morihiro Hosokawa (former prime minister)



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