“The Demon (Prophet) of Manufacturing” – Sandy Munro
Taking a bit of a different path on today’s news item, we are reposting an interview with MarkLines president Makoto Sakai which was originally published in the “Koyusho” (Cultural Column) in the morning edition of the Nihon Keizai (Nikkei) newspaper entitled, “The Demon (Prophet) of Manufacturing”
“The “Demon of Manufacturing” that I respect lives the United States. This gentleman is Mr. Sandy Munro, CEO of the U.S. engineering consulting firm Munro & Associates. Sandy is a professional engaged in the teardown and analysis of automobiles and is a big fan of Japan. He really likes “takoyaki”, which I’ve enjoyed going out to eat with him when he’s visited Japan.
It was around 2016 when we first became friends. On a business trip to Detroit, I learned of his company, which is engaged in vehicle teardown analysis surveys, and when I think about it now, I was sort of rude in going to see him, being only interested in his company’s activities. However, I was cordially welcomed as a guest from Japan, and before I knew it, a light came on in my head when we started talking about automotive components. I remember being excited by his amazing depth of knowledge and thinking to myself that “this person is the real deal.”
He is fond of making jokes, and is also known for doing imitations at drinking parties. However, when the conversation comes to Monozukuri (manufacturing), the color of his eyes change.
I remember when Sandy visited Tokyo in 2017. When he looked up at the bell tower of Zojoji Temple in Minato Ward, he suddenly began to explain, “Mr. Sakai, the structure of the parquet is very interesting.” It was a moment when I was able to get a glimpse of his inquisitive spirit that hasn’t faded one bit, even at the age of 69.
Mr. Munro, who likes Japan so much that he even puts up a string of carp-shaped windsocks (koinobori) to celebrate the Japanese holiday Children’s Day at his home in the U.S. It seems that he is already looking forward to visiting Japan again after the new coronavirus situation has settled down. I can’t wait to have our next drink together in Japan.”
By, Makoto Sakai – President of MarkLines
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