In Japanese handcraft, there are two unique approaches to design: mitate and shitate. These traditional techniques guide craftspeople to instill an elevated sense of artistry in their work — and inspired the design of the INFINITI QX50's interior. Watch as we explore the practices with sixth-generation craftsman, Takahiro Yagi.
Mitate is the practice of curating the best possible selection of materials. Artisans carefully choose those which contrast or complement one another, elevating the character of the final product. Inside the INFINITI QX50, our automotive designers sourced endless samples of different wood, leather, metal and thread to find the most appealing combination — offering the most luxurious effect.
Shitate is the way in which the item is made. It’s a dedication to tailoring, shaping and composing the materials to bring out their very best qualities — creating something far greater than the sum of its parts. When we built the INFINITI QX50’s cabin, our craftspeople retained the open-pore maple’s natural character, elevating the sense of authenticity in the final design.
A craftsman of Kyoto
Yagi-san is the owner of Kaikado, based in Kyoto, Japan. A maker of ‘chazatsu’, also known as tea caddies, his family-run workshop was established in 1875 — where it produced Japan’s very first tin tea caddy. Today, he continues his family’s 144-year-old traditions, using delicate design practices such as shitate and mitate to bring his exceptional creations to life.
“It’s not just important to make something that is simple and clean, but also creates a lasting sense of comfort… I could see how INFINITI’s designers meticulously implemented mitate and shitate — adding value to the design.”
Takahiro Yagi, Kaikado
Experience the INFINITI QX50’s highest sense of luxury — made possible by delicate and thoughtful design practices, founded in our homeland of Japan.