Genius of Japanese Carpentry: Secrets of an Ancient Woodworking Craft (revised edition 2013)

Brown, Azby


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The Genius of Japanese Carpentry tells the story of the 1200-year-old Yakushiji monastery in Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the dedicated modern-day craftsmen who are working to restore what has been lost to the depredations of time, fire and warfare.

Although the monastery’s reconstruction will not be fully completed until 2030, one of the primary temples, the Picture Hall, has been wholly restored employing the same materials, tools and techniques originally used in its creation over a millennium ago. Featuring intricate, puzzle-like joinery and the integration of timber pieces to orient them in the same direction as when it was a growing tree, this book skillfully documents the stunning craftsmanship of the ancient Japanese, which is still alive today.

First published more than thirty years ago, this book has become a classic. Author Azby Brown, one of the world’s leading experts on Japanese architecture, chronicles the painstaking restoration of the Yakushiji monastery through:

Extensive interviews with carpenters and woodworkers
Original drawings based on the plans of master carpenter Tsunekazu Nishioka
Detailed photographs and diagrams showing the woodworking techniques, tools and materials used

This revised edition of the book contains a new foreword by Mira Locher, one of the world’s leading experts on vernacular and modern Japanese architecture.

An inspiring testament to the dedication of these craftsmen and their philosophy of carpentry work as a form of personal fulfillment, The Genius of Japanese Carpentry offers detailed documentation of the restoration of this historic building and a moving reminder of the unique cultural continuity found in Japan.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Imprint: Tuttle Publishing
Publication date: 14/09/2021

ISBN: 9784805316689 Category: