Yōkoso – Welcome
We’re a not-for-profit organisation, based in London, providing opportunities for people across the UK and beyond to explore the amazing world of Japanese woodwork and carpentry. Discover traditions and best practice from master crafts men and women direct from Japan.
Showcasing Masters and Makers from all disciplines, we uncover the past, present and future of Japanese woodcraft. Through online resources, workshops and events in 2020, we aim to inspire and educate a new generation.
The Japan Woodcraft Association (JWA) is founded and self-financed by Daigo Smith, a woodworker in London with family roots in Japan. Recently launched, we’re at the start of a journey. Take a look around, we’d love your feedback.
Note From Kengo Kuma
“Nowadays the number of Japanese craftsmen is decreasing. Amid uncertainty about who is going to succeed them, most have no hope for the future. I hope the Japan Woodcraft Association creates the conditions to reverse this situation.”
With globally-acclaimed projects, including the National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Kengo Kuma champions the use of traditional Japanese woodcraft in contemporary architectural design.
Read Kengo’s full message here.
- Promote understanding and enjoyment of Japanese woodcraft traditions
- Offer Japanese crafts people a platform to connect with a global audience
- Showcase correct techniques, tools and traditions
- Strengthen and preserve the culture of woodcraft in Japan
- Act as a conduit between the UK and Japan woodcraft communities
Latest Blog Posts
On Sunday 3 May we held our first Japanese woodwork masterclass, live-streaming direct from Japan. As far as we know – it’s a world first too! 30 participants from over 14 countries from as far a field as Mexico, India and Brazil tuned in live to see JWA Featured Maker, Masahiro Kudo, start his journey …
Continuing our series profiling makers who’ve immersed themselves in Japanese woodcraft traditions, we interview Des King. A shoji and kumiko art woodworker based in Australia, Des began his lifelong passion studying at Shokugei Gakuin – the International College of Craft & Arts in Toyama.
Imagine taking 8 years to build not just 1, but 2 stunning shrines made of Japanese cypress, then 12 years later to take them down and start again? That’s exactly what happens at Jingu Shrine in Isu City, Mie Prefecture in a 20 year cycle that’s part of the ‘Shikinen Shengu‘ ceremony. The last one …
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Notice for our Japanese readers: Hon’yaku wa mōsugu!
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A wonderful morning visiting acclaimed woodworker and artist @shuji_nakagawa in his workshop and showroom by the shores of Lake Biwa just outside Kyoto. His work has a clean, simple design aesthetic born from traditional Japanese culture, yet displaying his handprint of innovation. Shuji and his team @nakagawa_mkkg are shaping the future of Japanese woodcraft. Pics of me haphazardly using Shuji's drawknife to come in a full blog post! #japanesewoodworking #japaneseart #woodworking #woodcraft #woodcrafters #handmade #japanesewoodworkingtools #woodart #woodartist #wooddesign