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Making Shoji Paperback – July 1, 2000


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Making Shoji + Shoji: How to Design, Build, and Install Japanese Screens
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: Linden Publishing (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941936473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941936477
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Toshio Odate gives seminars on Japanese woodworking throughout the United States and Europe. He has written articles for ""Fine Woodworking Magazine,"" ""American Woodworker,"" and ""Woodshop News"" and is the author of ""Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use."" He lives in Woodbury, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

Then this book is an excellent reference.
Western Ink
Compared to the traditional way a Japanese learned carpentry (by 'peeking' at the master) this book is a gift for those who want to master the Japanese toolset.
Marc Ruby™
It is a beautiful book and very informative.
Mary

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Shoji is the word for Japanese sliding doors and screens made of wood. Their making requires a degree of skill and attention to detail previously thought to be beyond the reach of amateur woodworkers. Now master craftsman Toshio Odate provides an illustrated, step-by-step, compendium of practical instruction that will enable the novice to successfully create and assemble two shoji projects: the common sliding screen with hipboard, plus an intricate transom featuring the beautiful asanoha pattern. Building on this foundation, Odate gives construction details and nots on eight shoji variations. Technical chapters cover the Japanese mortise-and-tenon joint, shoji paper, and home-made rice glue. Making Shoji is an impressive, unique, highly recommended, "do-it-yourself" woodworker friendly instruction guide.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you ever want to be deeply impressed with the human ingenuity take a look at this book. The lowly shoji door, is a commonplace in Japanese homes. Not just as doors, but as windows and room dividers. And each is a work of art, put together by craftspeople like Toshio Odata using the same tools they did a thousand years ago.
For the woodworker this book is a detailed study of the techniques and processes involved in creating an object that is simple in its concept and incredibly complex in it's potential. To the student of Japanese culture the book is a vivid tour of the philosophy and commitment that underlie many of the simple, traditional factors of their lives, from doors to teacups. An insight into some of their aesthetic underpinnings.
Homeowners in Japan would collect and age wood, especially for their houses. Then an itinerant craftsman would take up residence for the time needed, building both his workshop and then features expected of him. All the tools he used must be easily portable and capable of work both delicate and massive. For a true master, an intricate door would take a day, despite being made completely from scratch.
Odate combines instruction with anecdote, while the photographs and diagrams are easy to follow. Compared to the traditional way a Japanese learned carpentry (by 'peeking' at the master) this book is a gift for those who want to master the Japanese toolset. For someone like me, who is used to modern machinery and automation, the book is a lesson in humility as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Al S. on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book (kindle edition) while serving in Japan doing Tsunami relief with a Christian organization. While there I became very impressed and intrigued with the amazing shoji panels and transoms I saw while doing home renovations. I thought that shoji making could be added to my woodworking and cabinetry business upon returning to the States. So before I left I purchased the book to learn more about shoji panel construction and determine if there might be any special tools needed; tools I could purchase before leaving.

For someone with a moderate to high level of woodworking experience the book does not add an abundance of new information. Insight into the Japanese woodworkers mind as to their regard to wood was certainly appreciated. While working in Japan I learnt that most wood items in the homes were highly revered. The author helps to explain such mentality.

General Western fine woodworking tools would be adequate to accomplish the shoji panels. The author does lay out some special techniques and jigs that would be needed in the building the panels, which was most helpful. While in Japan I was most impressed with the intricate geometric and flower designs of the transom panels. The author does delve into that arena with a basic geometric pattern. His instruction really helps one to understand the intricacies and time involved to accomplish building one such panel. However, most of the book covers the basics of shoji panels, something the accomplished woodworker should be able to figure out on his own. Having been in the trades for over 30 years there was not much new for me. But for the beginner and intermediate, it should be a book that would help, should you desire to make shoji panels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily on December 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is mostly over my head, but it goes a long way to satisfy my curiosity about the mystery of the Japanese house, specifically, the wonderful sliding screens that tranform spaces and make them more fluid. I especially like the fact that the author talks a lot about his apprentice years, even down to the tools he received and the sorts of jobs he was expected to do. In the U.S., houses aren't built with this blend of art & science, but I think that may change as people become more unhappy with the slapped-together, junk-wood and drywall method of home building. MAKING SHOJI is probably not for the Black & Dekker crowd, but carpenters and other curious folk will find it very interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GH on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am working on a tea house in my garden using traditional and modern methods, but wanted to make my own shoji doors. This has been very helpful. I am now new to constructing, but steps could be used by a novice who wants to learn skills for traditional construction. It can also be used by someone who is skilled, to branch out and be creative.
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