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The Art Of Japanese Joinery Paperback – June 1, 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Pages 1-25 are a very cursory overview of the art of carpentry in ancient Japan. Pages 25-88 are full page, gorgeous pictures of different Japanese carpenter's joints. Pages 89-106 are a series of cutaway line drawings of joints, almost an attempt to show you how to do it, but more just to show the complexity of the joints themselves.
But nowhere are there clear, explicit instructions with proportions or techniques to create these joints. This wasn't clear from the description, which is actually quite misleading saying that "even the weekend carpenter can duplicate these bequests from the traditional Japanese carpenter" using this book. That is absolutely not the case, at least for this weekend carpenter.
Great pictures, fantastic art, but a poorly conceived and advertised book for the purpose of making this art. Try The Complete Japanese Joinery instead if you want to make these.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you get past the "Japan is the best in the world" part, this is an excellent book. Detailed descriptions of how wood joints were made and used. Read morePublished 1 month ago by cheyenneB
This was the envy of Christmas time. I should have got one for my brother-in law! I know my husband will enjoy creating things with this! Read morePublished 6 months ago by arial143
If I were an avid woodworker these journey techniques are clever and have been used over the centuries.Published 8 months ago by Robert W.
This is a beautiful book, the joinery is breathtaking. If you like artful joinery, this book will make your carpenter heart pitter pat just a few beats fasterPublished 10 months ago by Zibbor