Kimiko Kidd
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Lexus Canada Introduces the Takumi Cat Challenge

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Takumi Cat
Photo: Lexus

The connection between the art of paper folding and luxury cars may not be obvious — unless you’re one of the skilled craftspeople at the Lexus plant in Cambridge, Ontario. The automaker’s master artisans, known as Takumi, are tasked with demonstrating their dexterity by accurately folding one of these origami cats. And now, Lexus Canada is challenging you to try your hand at folding your own Takumi Cat.

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How to fold a Takumi Cat

Here’s how to fold this flimsy feline, according to Lexus.

Takumi Cat Instructions
Photo: Lexus

The Takumi Cat is a deceptively easy piece of origami. Although it would be a breeze to fold one of these kitties with both hands, the real challenge lies in folding it the same way a Lexus Takumi does. These experts have to fold the model in under 90 seconds, using only their non-dominant hand.  To make it even tougher, Lexus Takumi aren’t even allowed to fold the paper on a flat surface — they have to fold the paper in the air. Take it from someone who’s been doing origami since first grade and enjoys attempting more difficult models — the Takumi Cat challenge sounds like an absolute bear.

But I’m not the only one who thinks this paper cat sounds like a beast — check out master origami artist Mark Bolitho taking the challenge.

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Understandably, Lexus is proud of its skilled craftspeople. “We call them Takumi Cats, because they’re used to test the dexterity of our Lexus Takumi Masters – the artisans who are trusted with the most critical processes when we build a Lexus vehicle,” explained Melanie Testani, the Brand Manager for Lexus Canada. “We thought Canadians looking to learn a new skill while at home might enjoy testing their dexterity in the same way as our most accomplished craftspeople.”

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What does it take to become a Takumi?

2020 Lexus NX
Photo: Lexus

Even if you manage to fold a Takumi Cat within the rules of the challenge, don’t apply for a job at Lexus just yet — Lexus Takumi Masters have to dedicate over 60,000 hours to their craft. How does that mind-boggling figure break down? You’d have to work eight hours per day, 250 days a year, for a whopping 30 years to become a Takumi!

For more of the latest Lexus news, stay tuned to The News Wheel.