What do all craftsmen who practice kodawari have in common? For Ken Mogi, all these craftsmen are in a state of flow. He believes that they are always in constant motion and that kodawari is synonymous with a flow state.
Nick: I've thought about this for a while. Does kodawari help you reach a flow state or is it the other way around where you need to be in a flow state to practice kodawari?
Ken: From what I have observed from presenting some TV programs, I also actually interviewed many craftsmen and they seem to be in that state of flow when they do their job.
For example, wajima-nuri is where they produced this lacquerware, where you can have lacquerware painted in black and red and you can use it in traditional tea ceremonies and so on. They are in a constant state of flow.
I think these craftsmen, the same goes for people who make traditional Japanese sweets in Kyoto, restaurant chefs, this includes chefs who are specialists on Italian and French dishes because you can have one of the best Italian French dishes in the world in Tokyo.
These chefs have one thing in common which is they are always in the state of flow. They really like a magician or an athlete in motion, they never stop and are always in motion. There's not a moment when they stop and think "oh, why should I cook this meat or how should I prepare this vegetable?"
They are always in constant motion. It's really beautiful to watch and I do think that kodawari is probably synonymous with a flow state. They achieve a certain level of mastery.
I don't know when they were apprentices and they maybe had some hiccups; when they reach a state of the master being a master, they do have this constant state of flow in which they exercise their kodawari which is very interesting.