Recommended Reading

Interested in Japanese carpentry and woodwork? From beginner to more advanced, here’s some publications you simply have to read.

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Title: Complete Japanese Joinery
Author: Yasuo Nakahara
Suitable: Intermediate – Advanced
Overview: An encyclopedic look at Japanese joinery and carpentry techniques. Intricate details explored. Suitable for those with an existing knowledge of Japanese woodwork.
Purchase: Amazon

Title: Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit, and Use
Author: Toshio Odate
Suitable: Beginner
Overview: A great book detailing the rich history of Japanese hand tools and their importance in Japanese culture. A perfect starter book to whet your appetite and understand the true meaning of woodwork in Japan.
Purchase: Amazon

Title: The Art Of Japanese Joinery
Author: Kiyosi Seike
Suitable: Beginner – Intermediate
Overview: A lovely visual book leaning more towards the aesthetics of each joint rather than for a practical woodworker wishing to make them or wanting to know where to use them.
Purchase: Amazon

Title: The Building of Horyu-Ji (JAPAN LIBRARY)
Author: Tsunekazu Nishioka (translated by Michael Brase)
Suitable: All
Overview: A must-read to learn about the most venerated wood craftsman in Japan: Tsunekazu Nishioka. This book will make you visit Horyu-ji Temple after reading.
Purchase: Amazon

Title: The Genius of Japanese Carpentry: The Secrets Of A Craft
Author: S. Azby Brown (Associate Professor of Architecture at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology)
Suitable: All
Overview: The Genius of Japanese Carpentry focuses on Japan’s foremost carpenters who combine the timeless past and living present.
Purchase: Amazon

Title: Wood and Traditional Woodworking in Japan
Author: Mechtild Mertz, 2016
Suitable: All
Overview: No other author has described the species, uses and grades of timber used in Japanese woodworking like Mechtild Mertz. Great reference book for the furniture maker, builder or scholar.
Purchase: Amazon or Google ebook

Title: Wood Joints In Classical Japanese Architecture
Author: Torashichi Sumiyoshi, Gento Matsui, 1991
Suitable: Intermediate – Advanced
Overview: This book explains splices and connecting joints of traditional Japanese wooden architecture with pictures and diagrams.
Purchase: Free Download Here (currently unavailable to buy on Amazon)

Title: Japanese Wood Craftsmanship
Author: Hugh Miller, 2015
Suitable: All
Overview: The tools, techniques and philosophies that make Japan’s unique woodworking culture so special.
Purchase: Free Download Here

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