1. Born to be a craftsman
Goro Takahashi was born in 1939 in Jujo, Tokyo, as the fifth of six children. The origin of his name comes after the number five (Go) and son (Ro), a common name in Japan given to the fifth boy of a family.
Goro’s father was a hardware dealer traveling to different villages and a haiku poet. In the impoverished postwar period of the early Showa era, he traveled around farming villages carrying a variety of daily necessities and foods on his back and selling for his business. He would purchase goods from his sales proceeds and resell them in the next village. Once hitting the road, he would travel for several months. In a sense, it is like a journey.
Goro once said,
“When my father returned after months of business, he would unload his baggage, take a wad of cash out of his bellyband, and toss it into the air. My mother would gratefully accept it. Then he would sit down at his desk, rub the ink, and begin to write haiku on stripes of paper with a calligraphy brush. Even as a child, my father looked really cool.”
During his childhood, Goro collected scrap iron for money and used it to buy materials to build whatever he wanted. He once became enthusiastic about making a glider, assembling the glider frame from balsa and cheddar wood and attaching the paper. Every time he participated in a model airplane competition organized by a Newspaper company, he won the prize. He would build an even larger model using the materials he received as a prize. He also became fascinated with the Native American culture as a young boy by playing Indian-style children’s games, which was standard children's game back then.
“I have been creating things since I was a child. If I fail, I know the reason why. If I do well, I get better at it. My hands move faster than my head. They take shape when I find good materials and fiddle them with my hands. At the time, it was postwar; there were broken baby carriages that were thrown away. So I converted them into a covered wagon and used them to play Indian-style games. My elder brothers were all excellent academically, but I was different. I was good at creating, like the wagon or the model airplane. I created things by using materials that were around me. It was a place where I belonged. I did what I liked, and everyone was happy.”
“Travelling” and “Crafting: are indispensable in describing Goro Takahashi. The roots of his passion lie in his childhood.