It’s been a long while since my last blog entry and I’m happy that I finally found a free minute to prepare some pictures and another recap post. The last six weeks where exciting and really busy. We welcomed our second son, Jakob, into our family on October 2nd (50 UP! with * 8lbs and 56cm) and had a good time since then.

This recap post is documenting one of the highlights of this years trip, and I’m really happy and thankful that Shimazaki-san of Handsome Lures made all this possible. Thanks again!

After our rainy trip to Biwako the day before, I got picked up at my hotel around lunchtime at 36 degrees and sunshine. During the ~2 hour car-ride to Suzuka (located in northeastern Mie Prefecture) Shimazaki-san and I enjoyed an entertaining and lively conversation about lure-building and our upcoming meeting with Hiroyuki Fujita of Budd & Joey Company. A Basser Magazine issue from 1994 – featuring Fujita-san and his work was simply the best way to ‘tune in’.

1994 Basser Magazine
1994 Basser Magazine (No. 36) featuring Budd & Joey Company

I already knew about Budd & Joey since I got in touch with Japanese Surface Game for the first time and drew a lot of inspiration from his work since then. Fujita-san is basically the godfather of Handmade Topwater Lure Building in Japan. He was the first one who brought an own unique style and direction to lure building without getting all-too affected by american influences. Since more than 35 years Budd & Joey Company stands for perfectly crafted and well-tought-out lure creations and Fujita-san’s own influence on most of todays Japanese lure builders feels omnipresent and an undeniable fact.

Meeting Budd & Joey
So happy and excited…

Maybe you can understand the excitement I felt, when we finally arrived at Fujita-san’s house. We went right away into his workshop and after a delicious ice coffee, we started a truly amazing conversation. What I experienced is really hard to put in words. There was a really relaxed mood and pleasant atmosphere throughout the day and even with my very limited knowledge in Japanese and just a few scraps of English, we had a really inspiring and brilliant conversation.

Budd & Joey workshop
Unique color pattern by Budd & Joey

Budd & Joey workshop
More amazing lure creations

After a workshop tour and a traditional and highly delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant, we spent more time talking about the vibrant macrocosm of Japanese Surface Game. I even got a lure building lesson from Fujita-san himself.

Budd & Joey + Handsome Lures
Hiroyuki Fujita and Taizo Shimazaki (Handsome Lures)

Lure Bulding Lesson
Sketches and drawings signed by the master himself

It’s already more than two months since we met, but memories are still vibrant and I’m sure, that I will carry them for a long time.

Thanks again for having me and for sharing your passion and vision!

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