A 40th anniversary reprint of the classic 1984 text by woodworker, artist and educator Toshio Ōdate, this guide is considered by many to be the definitive resource for Japanese woodworking tools. Each of the only 500 books in the limited special edition is numbered and signed by the author and stamped with the Ōdate family seal.
Originally written to introduce Japanese woodworking tools to the West, the book not only describes hand tools and techniques but also highlights the context of culture, philosophy and practice of the shokunin, a traditional Japanese craftsman.
Drawn from his early years as apprentice to a sliding-door maker and subsequent decades of experience as a master craftsman, Ōdate’s personal anecdotes bring to life the world of the shokunin. He begins by describing the workspaces, the essential equipment and the toolbox of the artisan, highlighting the spiritual connection between the shokunin and his tools.
Supplementing the text with black-and-white photographs and his own drawings, the author describes a range of Japanese tools from saws, chisels, planes and sharpening stones to marking tools, adzes and axes, hammers, gimlets, knives and more. He provides historical context for the tools and explains techniques for using them. A section on sharpening includes details of the plane-blade forging process. Ōdate also shows how to temper the very sharp but sometimes brittle initial edge, to reduce the potential for chipping.
Beautifully presented with a full-color dust jacket and protective slipcase, this memorable guide makes a prized addition to any woodworker’s library and is sure to be appreciated by enthusiasts of Japanese tools.
Hardcover, 9" × 12", 189 pages, 2021.