25-year-old Ryosuke Ohtake is a master craftsman who recently tried his hand at ‘jizai okimono’ – the Japanese art of carving realistic wooden animals, complete with movable joints. He created a near-perfect lobster entirely out of boxwood. The sculpture is so life-like that when lifted, its claws, legs and tail move in the exact same way that a real, live lobster would.
A three-minute video clip that shows Ohtake working on the lobster with his various sculpting tools and blocks of wood, has become very popular online. In the video, he lifts the finished sculpture in his hands and shows exactly how each part moves. The details are simply mind-blowing.
What’s really surprising is that this project is actually Ohtake’s first official attempt at jizai okimono, which is considered to be a complex craft. It dates back to the late-Edo period of the late 1700’s, when metalsmiths found themselves with plenty of free time owing to a decline in the demand for armor. So they used their skills to create life-like metal animals, birds, fishes, snakes and insects.
Over the years, the lobster has been considered the most difficult and challenging form to master. So it’s quite an achievement for Ohtake to have achieved perfection with on his first try. Of course, he used wood instead of the traditional metal medium, but it’s still quite amazing. The lobster was displayed at a wooden sculpture exhibition at Tokyu Department Store in Tokyo, all through April.
This might be his first jizai okimono project, but Ohtake has made several other wooden sculptures with incredibly intricate details. Head over to his Facebook page to check out pictures of his seriously awesome creations.