While the use of physical currency continues to dwindle, there’s still a need for coins to be produced. Process X takes us on an in-depth tour of Japan’s only coin factory for a look at how they make coins. The Osaka mint produces six kinds of coins, from aluminum 1 yen coins to the copper, nickel, and zinc 500 yen coins shown in the video.
Japan’s Sigma Corporation makes all kinds of camera lenses. Process X takes us on a factory tour for a look at how their interchangeable lenses come together, from polishing glass to assembling tiny components and even hand-painting the dial markings. Production requires precision and cleanliness from start to finish. No wonder lenses are so expensive.
Are you hungry? Then, you might not want to watch this video of a cook fixing a batch of Japanese spherical pancakes in a specially-designed griddle. The finished product looks delicious, but it’s the precision with which the chef deposits the batter and flings the completed treats out of the mold that makes the clip genuinely satisfying.
A Japanese Daruma doll is a traditional symbol of Zen and Buddhism and is regarded as a bringer of good luck. Process X takes us inside the Gunma Daruma factory, makers of these hollow, round dolls since 1873. They’re cast from a slurry of recycled egg cartons and paper, smoothed, air-dried, and then handpainted in red, black, white, and gold.
This book of Japanese patterns is great for making your own origami sculptures. It’s packed with 200 sheets of 6-inch paper squares printed with intricate designs in shades of blue and white with solid colors on the back. Great for making collages or papier-mâché projects too.
Digital clocks typically use LCD or LED screens to display the time. The Rantoge clock uses electro-mechanical components instead. Each digit on the clock is made from a set of flat metal segments, flipped into place using motorized levers. The DIY clock kit blew through its funding goal on Japan’s Machi-Ya crowdfunding site and is heading into production now.
We always enjoy watching factory videos showing how everyday items are manufactured. This video from Process X doesn’t disappoint, offering a look inside Japan’s IPS Pliers Co. The factory mass-produces pliers by heating, stamping, and punching steel rods, plating them, bolting together their parts, and then dipping their handles in a PVC coating.
Samurai’s unique 5-panel cap stands out from the crowd by incorporating elegant Japanese textiles. It’s made in Japan from lightweight Sashiko cotton knitting threads woven in a rainfall pattern hand-dyed in Indigo, Asagi, and Kinari. The lightweight fabric and inner sweatband help keep you cool and dry on sunny days.
Gramicci Japan teamed up with F/CE. to create a collection of modern outdoor clothing that’s equally at home in the city and the mountains. The lightweight Mountain Jacket is made from 100% Taslan military nylon and features a zip-and-snap opening, multiple utility pockets, and a dramatic skirted shape. Complete the look with matching cargo pants.
To celebrate the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, drivers from Oracle Red Bull Racing battled Scuderia Alpha Tauri competed in this Japanese game show. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez took on Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson in a series of silly driving and cargo-hauling challenges in tiny Kei trucks. Mini-truck bowling looks like a blast.
We’ve seen how Japanese Kumiko lattice is made. Now, watch Yamanaka Kumiki Works create a different kind of wood pattern called Yosegi. The process involves applying thin wood veneers to boards, cutting them into small pieces, arranging and gluing them into a pattern, and slicing them back into a veneer. Here’s another unique Yosegi pattern being made.
For dental health, it’s important to brush your teeth a couple of times each day. If you’ve ever been curious how the toothbrush you use came to be, check out this video. Process X takes us inside the Lapis factory in Japan to see how they injection mold plastic pellets into toothbrush handles, then attach and prepare nylon bristles in the most satisfying way.
For years, Tokyo’s Akihabara district was home to one of the most amazing little shops. But after 43 years in business, Koichi Shimayama shuttered his tiny electronics shop under the tracks. After being gifted the remnants of the shop, Norm Nakamura from Toyko Lens (with the help of his supporters) paid a crew to dismantle and rebuild it inside his studio.
There are chefs with knife skills, then there’s Ryota Togishi. In this clip, the kitchen blademaster shows off his skills by cutting impossibly thin slices of bread, tomato, cucumber, and bacon. An extra-sharp Japanese knife certainly helps, but it also takes incredible dexterity to cut with such precision.
We’ve seen how Crayola mass-produces crayons. The Nippon Rikagaku Kogyo factory in Japan has a more hands-on process and uses different materials, including rice wax and rice oil, to make its Kitpas bath crayons. Process X shows us how ingredients are combined into a thick paste, rolled smooth, then poured into forms before applying labels by hand.
Screws are one of those everyday objects we take for granted but are critical to holding together everything from our kitchen appliances to our vehicles. Process X takes us inside Japan’s Okitsurasen factory to see how they turn coils of steel wire into millions of precision screws, washers, and other hardware.
Restaurants in Japan sometimes use fake food in their display windows. Shigeharu Takeuchi has been honing his skills in creating lookalike food for over 50 years. In this Process X video, you’ll see how he makes realistic lettuce, omelets, tempura shrimp, and other inedible delicacies from wax, pigments, and plastic. He even makes caulk look like an appetizing dessert.
We never really thought about it before, but some hammers are made with other hammers. This video from Process X takes us inside a small tool factory in Japan to see how a skilled blacksmith makes various traditional hammer heads by forging steel and shaping each one using a pneumatic power hammer and hand tools.
Rubber bands are one of those ubiquitous things that we don’t really give a second thought to. But behind every rubber band is a factory and a team of skilled workers. Process X takes us inside Kyowa’s manufacturing facility to see how they transform blocks of natural rubber into millions of these useful office supplies every week.
Only in Japan host John Daub takes us inside the Komatsu Fireworks Company for a look at how they handmake their shells. Some fireworks can take months to create, each starting with a tiny ceramic ball at its center, built up in layers to produce effects. Their largest shell can produce an explosion nearly 1/2 a mile across.
The members of the Japanese group Bozestyle are proud of their bald heads. In fact, they’ve made them part of their performances. To bring their music to life, they rig their heads with buttons that can be used to trigger electronic sounds. Their version of The Imperial March is one of our favorites, but check out their Instagram for more.
Process X visited Marusho Co., a Japanese factory that makes metal toys. During this production run, you’ll see how they create tiny airplanes by cutting sheet metal into strips, stamping their fuselages, and assembling the parts. It’s amazing to see how much handwork goes into creating each toy.