Joinery – Time Capsule of Traditional Carpentry

LIXIL Gallery 1 & 2

poster for Joinery – Time Capsule of Traditional Carpentry

This event has ended.

The Kuzuryu River region below Mt. Haku is famed for its heavy snows. Here, numerous folk houses (minka) 200 to 300 years old once stood. The houses were distinguished by strong, sturdy pillars able to withstand heavy snows and enormous curved beams cut from trees bent by the weight of snow. To connect these pillars and beams, the shiguchi method of traditional wood joinery was employed. Shiguchi is a method of connecting pillar and beam using a right-angle (or oblique-angle) joint formed of a hozo (tenon tongue) and hozo-ana (mortise hole). It also refers to the joint itself. Architect Yoshihiro Takishita (1945~) began to encounter and collect shiguchi joinery in the 1960s while working to relocate and restore the old folk houses standing at the foot of Mt. Haku. When the joints, normally hidden, were exposed during the dismantling, Takishita was struck by their beauty and craftsmanship. Finding it difficult to discard the damaged or worn joints, he began collecting them. Today, the shiguchi stand quietly on display. While no longer a functioning part of a building, the carved joints speak eloquently to us of the character of the old folk houses. This exhibition displays examples of shiguchi joints that supported folk houses in the Edo-period (1603-1868). Please look well at the simple, powerful formative beauty of each work of joinery from Yoshihiro Takishita’s collection. For this exhibition, members of the Traditional Building Techniques (Dento giho kenkyu-kai) have reconstructed their original appearance in diagrams, which are also displayed. Listening closely to the aged joints, we will hear the voices of their carpenters, who carved them in dedication to their craft. Through the exhibition, visitors will have opportunity to know the structure of Japan’s folk houses and depth of its carpentry traditions. Both are aspects made clear by the shiguchi.



from December 05, 2019 to February 22, 2020



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