Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Art Of Japanese Joinery Paperback – June 1, 1977
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
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. Although these timber-framing joints are intended to provide flexible-yet-strong houses in earthquake-prone Japan, they are also useful in building recording-studios where sound-transmission through joist-conduction must be minimized. I suspect that very few construction workers would have the confidence in their skills to cut some of these complex joints into an expensive 60-foot glue/ lam beam as I did. Of course, I would have never risked that without practicing the joints first on less expensive material with the expert help of my father. If you build recording studios, or want an Earth friendly yet Earthquake resistant home, you may find practical applications for timber framing joinery within. Although I have not heard of many architects using this joinery, I have thought of other applications. The metal-free joinery ( without nails or screws) in this volume could solve some design problems in structures that contain super-powerful magnets for nuclear medicine or particle physics labs.
If you want a "gee-whiz! YOU TOO can create these fancy joints with simple techniques and cheap tools" type of book, look elsewhere. This is not a book for the Sears Table-saw crowd.
This is a magnificent tome for an elite group of artisans and art-lovers.
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.
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.
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.