Test Your Takumi Skills
When you have a moment (or just need one for that matter), we suggest stepping into your Lexus and just sitting in the driver’s seat for a while. It’s an opportunity to get to know your model even further—especially the subtle, precision details.
Consider the impeccably straight stitching across the dash, the artful patterns in the trim, or the subtle steering wheel forms designed for a comfortable finger grip. There are countless, purposefully precise details like these, many unseen, that together comprise the extreme craftsmanship that makes your vehicle special.
This meticulous approach to quality is the result of Lexus’ dedicated, even legendary, culture of Takumi, which essentially translates to “artisan” or “master craftsman.” For decades, Lexus has infused this notion with automobile creation, blending artisanal, human-touch expertise with forward-thinking, technically advanced vehicle assembly.
Overseeing this craftsmanship culture at each Lexus production facility are the Lexus Takumi themselves—the elite master engineers responsible for various aspects of your vehicle. There are different Takumi for different vehicle components, such as a paint Takumi or engine Takumi. Those aspiring to qualify for these leading roles must have at least 25 years of industry experience, as well as rigorous additional training—together adding up to more than 60,000 hours of skill refinement.
But Lexus Takumi are special for more than their engineering prowess. To reach Takumi status, candidates must also possess a sensory feel for quality. For example, Takumi responsible for vehicle exteriors can tell, by touch, whether exterior body panel gaps meet Lexus’ meticulous, millimeters-wide spacing requirements.
This is why all Takumi—to attain their role—must demonstrate natural human-touch sensitivity, much like a surgeon. And one of the ways they fine-tune and prove this skill is by passing Lexus’ origami cat test.
At first glance, the exercise looks fairly simple—just fold an origami cat. But here’s why the task is special: the origami cat must be folded one-handed in under 90 seconds by the non-dominant hand.
To gain a sense of the difficulty involved, you can actually try this challenge yourself. Below are the required folds; once you’ve performed the task with both hands, try it one-handed with your best hand. After that, switch to your non-dominant hand, and if you get that far, set a timer for 90 seconds and go for it:
Lexus also has an entertaining interactive version you can perform with your mouse or track pad, which mimics the exercise: just attempt to trace the folds per the game’s guidance, which is evaluated for accuracy and speed (as you can guess, you’ve got 90 seconds to complete the interactive origami cat, after which you’ll be rated on your Takumi potential).
And should you not attain a Takumi-level score, not to worry—you’ve already got the benefits of Takumi-level dexterity parked in your driveway.
By Brian Gill