Japanese Wood and Carpentry
国际木文化学会 | 119 view(s) | 2021/06/10
个人简介：Researcher of East Asian Civilisations Research Center (CRCAO-CNRS), Paris
Although numerous publications have noted the rich variety of wood species used in the construction of Japan's civil and religious structures, few have focused on the wood itself. This presentation is drawing attention to the wood species used by Japan's carpenters, who so ingeniously exploit the extraordinary diversity of their country's forest resources. This presentation will introduce four carpentry fields in Japan, by showing their wood species selection.
1.A temples and shrine carpenter, the miya-daiku, makes use of large-diameter timber. How do carpenters cope with deficiency of large diameter timber for reconstruction or restoration purposes? This question is a very actual problem with multiple interesting solutions that will be presented here.
2.A carpenter for refined teahouses and residences, the sukiya-daiku, is in charge of rustic and refined teahouses and constructions. He also makes use of very ancient techniques and tools, like the adze (chôna), or the spear-head plane (yariganna), thus bringing out the intrinsic beauty of wood, and even the essence of Japanese aesthetics.
3.A joiner for doors, windows and screens, the tateguya, is also a part of the carpenters' guild. He makes specific use of timber, like especially the sapwood (shirata) of Japanese cedar, called sugi. Sliding doors and folding screens are regarded as artworks that need to fulfill special criteria and careful handling for their preservation.
4.A general carpenter, the daiku, is in charge of folk dwellings like farmhouses, mountain dwellings or townhouses. Wood species are selected depending on regions, building types, structure elements.
In order to get a closer look on the major tree species I also will show the facsimiles of a rare document showing the wood grains of one-hundred tree species. It is a handbook with thinly sliced wood samples glued into it. This guidebook, was prepared by the government of the Meiji period (1868 – 1912) for the 1876 Philadelphia World Exhibition. In that period Japan was aware of its rich forest resources, and wanted to show them to the world. The actual-size facsimiles of some of the handbook's samples furnish an in-depth look at some of the important wood species used in Japanese architectural construction.