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The Complete Japanese Joinery Paperback – January 1, 1995


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Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Japanese Joinery + The Art Of Japanese Joinery + Measure and Construction of the Japanese House (Contains 250 Floor Plans and Sketches Aspects of Joinery)
Price for all three: $57.67

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Hartley and Marks Publishers; Reprint edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881791210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881791211
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
There's more than enough here to keep me busy for a long time...
J. Ulevicius
The book discusses types of wood, the tools required and their use and care, and more styles of joints than I can count.
Ronin
The book's line drawings are beautifully clear, but require careful reading.
wiredweird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book, in two parts, describes the incredible wooden joints used in traditional Japanese construction. A western woodworker might consider "joinery" to be dovetails, part of finish carpentry or fine woodworking. The joints shown here are far more elaborate, and are applied to construction framing.

The first half of this book describes the joints themselves. These elaborate connections aren't just a woodworker's showmanship, however. One joint may have different features that prevent side-slipping, prevent rotation, carry weight, and admit a key to keep the assembly from backing out. Another joint may connect a vertical, two aligned horizontals, and one or two more horizontals at right angles to the others. With a little practice, you may learn to read the purpose of each feature, and even create new joints for your unique needs.

The second half of this book is about framing, about using those joints for walls, floors, roofs, and second stories. It shows the all-wood joints at work. It also shows the Japanese genius at work, the skill that accepts the best of other worlds and makes it their own. All-wood construction serves only ritual or conservation needs these day. The authors show how traditional joints work with many kinds of metal fasteners. Classic artisanry is not a competitor to modern technique, it's a complement.

One appendix shows that this is not a book of Western carpentry. It summarizes the religious ceremony that blesses the construction project and is "intended as a memorial for the numerous plants, various insects, and small creatures that would be destroyed during building on the property." Reading that, I felt a real sense of loss at our developers' relative carelessness.

The book's line drawings are beautifully clear, but require careful reading. Whether or not you ever follow their directions, this book is a joy to view and an endless source of ideas for the woodworker.

//wiredweird
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully detailed diagrams make up the majority of this book, with a short first section describing Japanese woodworking tools and methods. A short section also describes the basic technique for fabricating some of the simpler joints, giving a good start for someone looking to try the more difficult ones. Not exactly a beginner's guide, but certainly an inspirational reference book!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By tosatomo on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I specialize in Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European Timber Framing. I have loved this book for over 20 years, even getting to see originals of the two books this one comes from. I often reference it to students and often reach to it to explain concepts, and that is the rub, this book has so many directional and technical errors, that a lay person, if trying to use the book as a building manual, (as the to original books were intended,) would surly become lost and confused. This has left some of my students running into the night with frustration and confusion, because there is more to what must be done than what ended up in this abridged copy of the original works.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David C. Brayton VINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is really neat--definitely worth $16. There are dozens and dozens of joints detailed but almost all of them are for framing buildings. Even so, these multitude of ideas presented can really start the creative process for furniture makers, like myself. In fact, this book provided a joint that solved a problem that I had dwelled on for months. Without this book, I never would have thought of this joint.

Most of the joints described are described well. But you will need to read the material carefully because some of the joints are quite complex. A lot of the joints are described with "drafting style" drawings--a front view, side view and top view. The book could benefit from more drawings that are in perspective.

The description of the use of Japanese tools is brief. In fact, if I were the publisher I'd delete "Japanese Tool Use" from the title because this book really doesn't focus much on tool use. Yeah, it's covered but there are other, more detailed texts n the topic.

At times, the text is awkward. If I recall correctly, this book was translated from Japanese, which likely accounts for the awkward phrases.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eugenio Sutto on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
When i bought it, i was looking for a manual to learn some basic about making japanese joinery in small amatorial woodworking projects. I'm not a carpenter, i'm just an hobbist.

Every page of this book is a precious pearl of a deep knowledge, surrounded by Japanese philosophy as well.

If you are patient to read very carefully and then practise, you'll find a pleasant surprise: a good job made with less tiredness and an happy mind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Curren VINE VOICE on June 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty incredible book. It is actually a combination of two books. I was more impressed with the first one. The second one started to get a bit hairy by the time you get to hip rafter assemblies. Errors exist from time to time adding to the confusion as one tries to figure out just what it is the author is trying to communicate. As you get further into the book, details are not referenced to anything. Details tend to get scattered about the page. Then you find yourself trying to figure out what detail goes to what and where? While I am fascinated by the details, I am also left wondering; how do these joints stay together. They become so complicated that I can't help but wonder; how many times one would craft a joint only to see it crack and fail? I recommend that anyone that wants to use any of these more complicated joints for structural connections to first consult with a structural engineer before proceeding on with any work or funds. All in All for the most part I was impressed and enjoyed the joint details in spite of this author's strange way of presenting the material.
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