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The Art Of Japanese Joinery Paperback – June 1, 1977


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Frequently Bought Together

The Art Of Japanese Joinery + The Complete Japanese Joinery + Measure and Construction of the Japanese House (Contains 250 Floor Plans and Sketches Aspects of Joinery)
Price for all three: $55.98

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill/Tankosha; 1st edition (June 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834815168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0834815162
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese (translation)

About the Author

Kiyosi Seike, Professor of Architecture at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, is also an active architect both in Japan and abroad. He has published numerous books and articles on architecture in both Japanese and English.

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Customer Reviews

Very well illustrated with photographs and drawings (orthographic projections).
Sam Spangenberg
And for those of who have made some of these joints, the excellent examples provide a high benchmark for grading our own efforts.
G. Conner
This book is a must for any serious woodworker who wants to take their skills to a whole new level.
Lez Freeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Iain Lowe on October 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
The photographs and many diagrams in this book (most of the book in fact is gorgeous glossy photos of the different joints described) expose and beautifully illustrate the Japanese people's many intricate forms of joinery. The author explains the basic concept behind each joint but does not provide details on how to make the cuts that form it. The joints illustrated here are those most commonly used by Japanese "carpenters" and provide an excellent basic overview of what the joints look like and how they fit together. Readers looking for a how-to book will prefer "The Complete Japanese Joinery" by Hideo Sato and Yasua Nakahara.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By G. Conner TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I inherited this book from my father and enjoyed perusing it from time-to-time. I loved that book dearly, and so, decided to share it with others by donating it to our local library.

Another reviewer was correct that it is not a typical "how-to" book, but it is an inspirational art book of classic Japanese joinery. The reason there is little "how-to" information here is because there are so many ways to accomplish these joints; by machine, entirely by hand, or with jigs and many combinations thereof. Also, the only people interested in this type of work are those who simply find it fascinating or are expert craftsmen. In either case, extraneous "how-to" info is not needed.

The book is beautiful, unique, and about an arcane subject, so it has high merit solely in that respect. If you love this type of thing, it is for you and highly recommended. Gorgeous photographs of intricate, hand-crafted joinery are intriguing for some of us woodworkers, even if we never intend to use these joints. And for those of who have made some of these joints, the excellent examples provide a high benchmark for grading our own efforts.

Most of the joinery in this book was cut by hand with traditional Japanese hand tools: Dozuki saws, chisels and wooden planes. Part-time "Home" craftsmen may find these examples inspiring, intimidating or outright depressing in comparison to their own work. My father was a world-class craftsman ( a violin repairman and pattern-maker) so he made many of these joints just for practice, although the methods he chose would undoubtedly differ from traditional Japanese woodworker's ways.

The few joints in here that I found practical use for were the construction joints that help isolate vibration while maintaining structural integrity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sam Spangenberg on April 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Excellent historical and technical information.
Very well illustrated with photographs and drawings (orthographic projections).
Table of contents, no index.

This book should appeal to many individuals with a very wide range of construction interests, including architect, designer, carpenter, cabinet maker and artist. In fact Japanese woodworkers guilds, again refining ancient Chinese practices, have created a practice that is as much art as technology in designing and making both joints and the tools to create them. Information on the tools is brief but the variety alone would necessitate another complete book.

This presentation of Japanese joinery represents fully only a few (48) of the many joints created by Japanese woodworkers since 200 BC (perhaps 400 remain "common"), however each presentation includes sufficient pictorial, historical and descriptive detail to understand the incredible skills that were necessary for this evolution of useful joinery.

How serious you feel about architecture, design or cabinetry is not genuinely important to the reader of this book. All readers will acquire some new appreciation for incredible craftsmanship and a stimulated interest in the Japanese technology that remains alive in the oldest wooden structures remaining on Earth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to learn about Japanese joinery this is an excellent choice. If you want to make Japanese joints, then I would say this should be an essential companion book to "The Complete Japanese Joinery" by Hideo Sato & Yasua Nakahara, which is a much more hands on how-to treaty.

There are some nice b/w photos of temple architecture in Nara & shimane, followed by 57 beautiful b/w photos of various complex joints all crafted with expert precision. The text describes the function, splicing, and connecting of joints.

Again this is not a technical manual per se, but if you are interested in the subject there is limited choices and I personally love this book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Shigemitsu on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is good for a coffee table display book since it has descriptions of several various joints and nice black&white photos. But if you are planning to create the joints for yourself, you will need a different book since there are no details given about the creation of each joint.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since the Western world penetrated the veil that once hid the cultural and spiritual convictions identifying the Japanese, their influence has since been no less powerful a force in its effect on our cultures and spiritual understandings.
This book isn't just about techniques and styles, as much as it is about the spirit of reverence and appreciation for resources like trees for the betterment of our lives, but that these resources are acknowledged as life forms in and of themselves. This conviction has been a constant for Japan for millenia, in spite of their mastery of industrialization, and has become, of recent decades, more evidence of the force of influence to bind world-wide conscientiousness over rapidly dwindling rain-forests and other like natural resources due to simple industrial greed for profit.
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