Truck Month Textbook Trade In Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_cbcc_7_fly_beacon Sixx AM Tile Wearable Technology Fire TV with 4k Ultra HD Gifts for Mom to look and feel great Mother's Day Gifts Amazon Gift Card Offer starwars starwars starwars  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Fire, Only $39.99 Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl ReadyRide Bikes from Diamondback SnS

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on August 10, 2004
JVA uses a simplified approach to building shoji. Odate's book is the one for you if you want to build an authentic shoji using Japanese technique. Having said that, this is an EXCELLENT primer on shoji measurement and building practice for quick screens. I have built screens in both styles and take my word for it that JVA's method is quicker and no-one can tell the difference. Two things: the screen on the cover is NOT the one detailed in the text (check the corners). Also, I would HIGHLY recommend cutting your stiles long (leave a horn) and trimming them off post assembly with the table saw followed by a pass with a plane. Buy it and get building!
22 comments|68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 1, 1999
Making shoji is not for those who have no woodworking skills, but if you can make basic joints, this book will provide instructions and inspiration onmaking beautiful shoji. If you're not interested in making shoji, it still provides design inspiration. At a current quoted cost of $29/sq. foot for Shoji, learning how-to could be profitable!
0Comment|49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Shoji are really beautiful. There is something wonderful about the light passing through the semi-translucent rice paper, creating an atmosphere that is romantic and relaxing. Having lived in Japanese houses for several years, it was something that I wanted to recreate when I returned to the US.

"Shoji: How to design, build, and install Japanese Screens" was exactly the book I was looking for. Jay van Arsdale has written a simply, comprehensive guide on how to add shoji to an existing house, from very simple screens to much more complicated structures. Its a modern approach to making shoji, rather than bothering with traditional Japanese methods, and is very practical and doable.

The book assumes that you have woodworking skills and tools, and isn't so much a "Beginner's Guide." He gives a list of tools that you will need, mainly a set of chisels, hammers, saws, polishing stones and planes. He does recommend that you invest in Japanese tools, as they are made differently from Western tools and will create a different look in the wood that will be more authentic and aesthetically pleasing. There are a few specialty chisels, specifically the yarinomi and the sokosarae, that will make your shoji-making much more efficient.

The different styles of shoji in the book range from simple shoji, to glass-panel shoji, closet and cabinet screens and lanterns. For the truly ambitious there are instructions for ceiling fixtures and skylights as well as valances and hanging screens. Most of those projects are far removed from my abilities, but a more advanced woodworker will find some inspiring projects.

The photos are all in black-and-white, but there are some beautiful homes on display showing you what you can do with shoji screens. Certainly not everyone has the time and money for that kind of home transfiguration, but it is nice to dream.
0Comment|31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMEon May 2, 2000
Shoji are the paper paneled wooden lattice screens that are an integral part of traditional Japanese architecture. This book offers comprehensive coverage of the design and construction of Shoji screens.
The main focus is on actually building Shoji. Detailed sections on wood, paper, and tools prepare the craftsman for the projects. Design, joinery and assembly instructions follow.
The theory and functionality of Shoji in transmitting light are explained. Examples in Japanese homes as well as adaptations in Western architecture are shown.
There are several small individual project ideas included to get started. Lists of paper and tool sources are very helpful.
0Comment|72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 11, 2011
Mr. van Arsdale sets out to write a little bit about almost every conceivable aspect of Japanese translucent shoji screens. This includes a little bit of history, design philosophy, tools, materials, construction techniques, a simple project plan for a screen, a few pages of patterns, and some supplier lists (dating from the late `80s when the book was new - some, perhaps many, are still around.

In the end all the short bits of writing really makes me wonder for whom the book was written. If you are an expert the material is too simplistic. If you are a novice interested in building a shoji screen then the material is, I think, somewhat misleading in the sense that lessons on how to sharpen chisels and selecting Japanese planes are not the first things somebody with no experience should learn from a book like this. In that context I also think that the implicit advice that you really need Japanese style tools to do any of this is exaggerated. I have some nice ones and like them very much, but I don't see them as a requirement.

In the department is missing content, on the other hand, I would have very much liked to see a discussion of more important things like proportions. Sure it is subjective, but it is also a key to what makes the japanese Japanese. Overall an OK book, but I would look around for other ones more tailored to some specific aspects of the shoji topic.
22 comments|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 23, 1999
This book has all the answers you have about Shoji and were afraid to ask or didn't know where to look. It covers everything from wood to joinery. I searched for this book for two years until I found a copy. I am glad that I persevered. It was well worth the wait.
0Comment|26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 20, 2013
I like Jay van Arsdale and I don't want to knock his book. But I have to be honest that I'm disappointed with it. There is a huge section in the book's middle that talks about general woodworking principles: choosing tools, how to chisel, choosing wood, etc. This part felt to me like "filler". Maybe an editor somewhere said "you have to pad the book a bit because nobody's going to pay $20 for a book with only 30 pages". In fact, even after reading the book I still had questions that by all rights should have been addressed in the book. I am building some shoji for my house and I had to find the answers to my questions on the Internet.

At the same time that I bought Jay's book, I also purchased Toshio Odate's book on Making Shoji (also reviewed). The other book helped me more than this one.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 20, 2011
If you're interested in making authentic shoji screens this book is very good. If you're more interested in making an easier Americanized version then check out a couple of screens posted on Instructables.com
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 28, 2014
I like this book much better than Making Shoji,this is a little more detailed and specific on how to make Shoji screens and various designs. I suppose with a little practice a beginner woodworker could give it a go with this book, someone more advanced even better.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 9, 2007
Can not say enough about this book, it gives you a good start if you know a little about wood, but does not stop there.

If you get this book you'll enjoy that it does not insult your interest by just showing pictures of work only a master could do. It gives the information needed to do your first design plus what you'll need once you understand the methods.

Thanks Jay, you have given me a great new experience.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.