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Traditional Woodworking in Japan: the continuity of a hundreds of years-old heritage
国际木文化学会 | 6577 view(s) | 2009/10/27
icwc2006-Mechtild mertz
会议时间:第一届木文化国际研讨会
会议时间:2006年2月18日-19日
会议地点:中国·哈尔滨
 
报告嘉宾:Mechtild Mertz
报告全文:

Traditional Woodworking in Japan: the continuity of a hundreds of years-old heritage

The abundance of wood species in Japan is reflected in its culture. The Japanese themselves define it specifically as a “culture of wood”. The traditional woodcrafts play an important role in this qualification, as a great number of artisans in Japan are still practising the traditions, built up by many generations. In order to understand the relation between the traditional Japanese woodworkers and their wood material used for everyday artefacts as well as objects of artistic value, it was decided to study the artisans’ empirical knowledge of wood, their specific way of looking at it, fashioning it and expressing its intrinsic beauty. Therefore we undertook in-depth interviews with craftsmen so as to trigger off professional conversations on tradition and techniques, as well as on aesthetics and cultural aspects. From the data thus obtained it was possible to study the materials used, the techniques, the nomenclature, the aesthetics and the culture prevailing in the various fields of woodcraft.

As a result the technical and the symbolic and aesthetic properties of wood and woodworking become apparent, as seen from the point of view of Japanese craftsmen. As such, this study contributes towards opening a new field of research for wood scientists as well as art historians, ethnobotanists, archaeologists and historians by supplying them with new means and tools to supplement their own. Apart from that, our study, focusing on wood in all its aspects as it does, ties in with an academic trend that has been developing in Japan over the past few decades.

Mechtild Mertz
Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Ethnobotanist (PhD), Expert in Wood Identification,Germany

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