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The precise art of Japanese wood joinery

To cut, carve, and refine wood into shapes that fit together as if they were one piece of wood. This is what artisan woodworkers in Japan have been doing since the end of the 12th century. Yamanashi-based traditional carpenter Dylan Iwakuni demonstrates how these precise fits come together in this short Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery video. No nails or glues are used to maintain the connection.

The joints: Chigiri-tsugi, an inserted tenon joint; Kanawa Tsugi, a Japanese scarf joint; Sumidome Hozo Sashi, a tongue and groove shoulder mitre joint; Ari Shiguchi, a dovetail joint; Shiho Kama Tsugi, a four-face gooseneck joint; Kane Tsugi, a three way pinned corner mitre joint.

Chigiri-tsugi joint

Using these joineries, materials are connected with each other to build wooden structures. Joineries can be used to replace a damaged part, allowing the structure to stand for another hundreds of years. Structures built from natural materials and the knowledge and skills passed down generations. Through the fine skills and knowledge, Japanese Wooden Architecture have been standing for thousand plus years.

Kanawa Tsugi joint
Find more demonstrations on Iwakuni’s Instagram. This rather astonishing video reveals a few of the secrets behind that precisely fitting Ari Shiguchi joint: A sharp chisel, patience, and practice.


Watch these related videos next:
• The art of Japanese marquetry
• Making a traditional Japanese wooden Kokeshi Doll
• Maple Clouds: Making a wooden bowl in stop motion
• Grandpa Amu creates a ‘Lu Ban stool’ from a single block of wood

via Open Culture.

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