Participants Learned Shokunin Spirit in
Bowl Bowl

Dina Teng '21 | Arts and Leisure Editor

Do you know what the Japanese word “Shokunin” means? Last Sunday, students, faculty and staffs gathered to explore the meaning of the word. The first round of the bowl-making Bowl Bowl started in the EFX Lab with more than 20 competing teams.

Introduced by Head of School Mr. Craig Bradley two years ago, the Bowl Bowl has made its way to becoming an annual competition. During the tournament, participants competed in teams of three to make wooden bowls from scratch. The competitors were scored on the level of craftsmanship that they show, namely, how attentive they are to details. To the audience’s surprise, during Mr. Bradley’s opening speech, he took out an axe from the podium to help deliver his message. Mr. Bradley encouraged participants to put themselves into the moment when making the bowls, and nourish their “masterpieces” with sincerity and exquisiteness.

Since competitors were more than encouraged to be unsatisfied with their work and start over again, the first round of the competition was forced to suspend after six hours because the dining hall closes at 7 p.m..

After a year’s careful consideration with the Shokunin spirit, yesterday, the Bowl Bowl Committee (BBC) decided on the winner for last year’s competition. Proctors from the Dana dorm, Dylan Kalaydjian ’19, Matt Kim ’19, and Alex Kulicki ’19, won first place. According to the BBC, the team showed “absolutely elegant” Shokunin spirit by carving “Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ The Dana Boat sinks/ But we love you” on their work. An anonymous member of the Committee said, “The whole committee’s eyes watered after reading it [the poem]. You can see how much they love their bowl and the process of making it. They totally deserve the prize.”

Among the 20 teams competed, 10 will continue in the second round of the Bowl Bowl next week. The importance of learning about the Shokunin spirit sparked a debate within the English Department to replace Daily Themes for Lower Mid students with a bowl-making marking period.

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