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.”

Kengo Kuma's Message Of Support For The Japan Woodcraft Association
Kengo Kuma | Architect | Kengo Kuma & Associates

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.

JWA Mission

  • 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

Japan Woodcraft Journeys – Wooden Boat Building | Douglas Brooks

Douglas Brooks is a boatbuilder, writer and researcher on a mission to preserve the wonderful yet dying tradition of Japanese wooden boatbuilding. Over the course of last 3 decades, Douglas sought out and gained the trust of Japan’s last generation of elderly master boat builders, becoming their sole apprentice and confidant, building 8 types of…

Masterclass Webinars Go Live

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…

Japan Woodcraft Journeys – Kumiko | Des King

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.


Sign up for the latest news and insight on Japanese woodcraft.

Success! You're on the list.


In addition to reading and research online, we’re working with our contacts in Japan and building a team of experienced contributors to collate and publish the content you see across this site.

Notice for our Japanese readers: Hon’yaku wa mōsugu!

Follow Us