“Whats above craftsman or artisan? Its stupid. so I consider myself stupid, a bicycle stupid” -Yoshiaki Nagasawa
Yoshiaki Nagasawa started “Nagasawa racing cycle” when he was 29 after coming back from studying frame building at De Rosa and Pogliaghi in Italy for almost 10 years.
Nagasawa was the official mechanic of Japanese national track racing team when they won medals every year from 1975 to 1990. Nagasawa also produced frames for Keiichi Nakano, 10 time world champion track racing cyclist, and one of the most successful competitors of all-time on the Japanese professional keirin circuit.
He is in his mid 60′s now but is still a top frame builder in the cycle racing world in Japan, especially in Keirin, producing frames for top racers like Toshiaki Fushimi and Keiji Kojima.
They say Mr.Nagasawa can be a tough builder to deal with because he does not make what you tell him to make, he makes what he thinks is the best frame for you, meaning he ignores sizing or geometry that you give when ordering, sometimes 1-2cm off of the order which could give a big difference in the racing style. I guess he is that confident in his skill, it is almost like coaching racers with his frame.
His background of frame building is in Italy. He respects Italy so much that he lives with an Italian time schedule even in Japan. He wakes up at 5:00pm, sleeps at 4:00 in the morning at his atelier in Osaka.
He was working under Ugo De Rosa, founder of De Rosa bicycles himself for long time when he was in italy. Learning from italian builders gave so much to him, that he still tries to keep his ties with them.