In Japanese culture, “Takumi” is the term used to describe a master artisan – someone who has dedicated his or her life to the mastery of a skill. Mazda celebrates Japanese Mastery in how it builds cars using experts in clay modelling, painting or stitching to deliver quality products that have an emotional thread connecting the craftsman or woman who built it and the consumer who owns and uses it.
Similarly, motorsports is an environment where masters of specific skills are the stars of the sport – be they drivers, engineers, fabricators or photographers. The idea of dedicating one’s professional life to one’s skill is not only common but necessary in a demanding environment such as motorsports.
Throughout Mazda Motorsports’ programs, these master craftsmen and women are bringing their unique skills and experience to bear by delivering experiences and results to an audience who are passionate and engaged in the sport and the outcomes.
While drivers are the easy example here – many having started racing when they were pre-teens and worked their entire lives to climb the ranks to where they are now – it is important to also recognize others within motorsports who have shown the same dedication to their chosen craft.
Alison Arena is a photographer who has worked for Mazda Motorsports for over a decade and has been a professional photographer for over twenty years. She and her team shoot many of the photos you see on this site and attributed to Mazda Motorsports on other sites and in magazine ads. In the same way as the clay modeler in Mazda’s Japanese design studio or the craftsmen and women who create the finishing polish on the molds Mazda uses to stamp the bodies of production cars, she has committed herself to the mastery of one particular skill, in her case photographing racing cars. When Mazda committed itself to the celebration of artful design, artisans like Alison’s true skills came to the fore, and given the opportunity to inspire and enrich through her art, the resulting images are spectacular and deliver against Mazda’s commitment to uplift its fans.
In a similar way, Tom Long is a driver who has developed his skills that are both unique and valuable to the Mazda racing community. Tom has been driving, racing or developing Mazda MX-5 race cars for just about all of his adult life. Tom started as a Spec Miata racer and was the first Mazda MX-5 Cup champion. Tom enjoyed much success in Miata-based race cars in IMSA competition. Even after he made the step into Mazda Prototypes, Tom continued to test and develop the latest generation of MX-5 cars – both the street version and the racing version. In this way, Tom has become a Miata specialist and remains a key element in Mazda Motorsports car development process. He is heavily in demand as a driver coach and continues to hone his skills driving MX-5 based racing cars.
There are many more examples of dedicated craftsmen and women throughout Mazda Motorsports. Their commitment to their chosen skill is in direct alignment with the Takumi principle. In this way, Mazda Motorsports serves as a metaphor for Japanese Mastery and the cultural philosophy that is evident throughout Mazda’s brand and car line.
Learn More About the Mazda Brand:
Human Centricity – A Mazda Known By
Ingenious Solutions – A Mazda Known By
Artful Design – A Mazda Known By
Effortless, Joyful Driving – A Mazda Known By