Whilst there may be some cross-over, Japanese woodworkers identify with one of four disciplines according to the work they perform and items they craft.
Japan’s time-honored shrine and temple carpenters or ‘miyadaiku‘, renowned for their use of elaborate wooden joints. The buildings they construct are frequently among the world’s longest surviving wooden structures, an example being Horyuji Temple in Nara, constructed by the most venerated ‘miyadaiku‘ of all time, the late Tsunekazu Nishioka.
‘Sukiya-daiku’ are teahouse and residential carpenters, famed for aesthetic construction projects that involve delicacy and historic detail, whilst using rustic materials. They typically build teahouses and residential type structures such as staircases and window frames.
Interior finishing carpenters, who build ‘shōji‘ (Japanese sliding doors). They also create carved, small wooden wall decorations that are known as ‘ranma‘ (see below for definitions).
Furniture makers who are similar to ‘Tateguya‘ but craft more general furniture such as sofas, chairs, cabinets and more.