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17 amazing Kumiki (Joinery) heritage invented by artisans in Hida called as “Hida-no-Takumi”

More than 1,300 years’ of Tradition

The master craftsmanship of Hida dates back more than 1,300 years, known as “Hida-no-Takumi”which was certified as the Japan Heritage in 2016. They went all the way to Kyoto (where the ministry of Japan was located at the time) to build shrines and temples, instead of paying tax (it was rice at the time) .

Carrying on the techniques and traditions of their predecessors, craftspeople in Hida have long utilized the sophisticated wood-joinery to create buildings without the use of a single nail, and they actively integrate wood-bending techniques learned from the West in furniture production.

These seasoned artisans, characterized by a deep respect for both tradition and innovation, expertly shape and arrange wood from the broad-leaved trees of the mountainous Hida region, which are usually considered very difficult to work with due to their large variety of species and forms.

The below 17 Kumiki is the very unique type of joineries displayed at Hida-no-Takumi museum. Who and When they were made are mystery. Please enjoy the sophisticated aesthetic and excellent details! 

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【01】

TYPE OF JOINT
Okkake-Tsugi

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PURPOSE
Pillar, Foundation, Digit, Beam
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is the method to joint in the vertical and horizontal (diagonally in some cases) direction. It adds the strength to the joint part and show the straight line through the total look.  

【02】

TYPE OF JOINT
Isuka-Tsugi

image9PURPOSE
Ceiling pole
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is the method to joint smaller parts in the horizontal direction. (in a way to add each piece) In this way, the joint part does not stand out much and gives a look of elegant finish.    

【03】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shiho-kama-tsugi

41109572371_4a407629c4_z41109572201_5a2a2f71eb_z

27237065668_48d0df8bce_z (1)PURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Pine
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is a way to trick people. It is ingenious, very rare to use. Two dimensional method is changed into three dimension. Normally it is jointed in the horizontal or vertical way but this one is jointed from the diagonal direction. It was used in architectures in the Edo era but was not practical but rather invented to show off the skill and knowledge of the craftmen at the time. The actual cases of usage for architecture is unknown.

【04】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shiho-Henkei-Tsugi

40399490174_5910df094a_zPURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Pine
SHORT DESCRIPTION
There is no way for usage since it is too difficult and impracticable. Some say that this is skill challenge from old carpenter to new carpenter in next generation.  

【05】

TYPE OF JOINT
Okuri-Ari-Tsugi

image6PURPOSE
Framing
MATERIAL
Pine
SHORT DESCRIPTION
The one used when joining parts together and the hole gets hidden. Another way to call this joint is “Jigoku Ari”. The hall becomes “Ari state” which is the shape the entrance of the hall gets smaller and the back gets broader. When putting from one direction and move, the parts get fixed.

【06】

TYPE OF JOINT
Tenjo-Koshi-Gumi

27237075958_d0960b0736_z 27237076208_526f4593ce_zPURPOSE
Framing
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
The way to cross the parts. It looks elegant when looking from the front side. The sample is right-angled but there are other angles to joint together.

【07】

TYPE OF JOINT
Eriwa-Ire-Kama-Hozo

27237076368_e8ecd302c6_z 27237076528_1fb49e210e_zPURPOSE
Framing
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is the one you feel tricked. Very rare, special and most difficult method. This was used at the frame of floor located at the front of shops in the Edo era and annoyed the carpenters when they break down the houses.

【08】

TYPE OF JOINT
Okkake-Daisen-Tsugi

27237078278_9229f12334_zPURPOSE
Pillar, Foundation, Digit, Beam
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
Same method as Okkake-Tsugi but adds the stopper to the general Oikake-tsugi. By plugging the stopper to the side of the tsugi-te, it adds the strength and prevents breakaway. It is often used for the bigger tsugi-te, especially when incorporating logs as parts. It has the solidity and stability

【09】

TYPE OF JOINT
Tokko-Gumi

image10PURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is another way to trick people and a rare method. One part gets chevron shape and another gets Ari hozo. This is unimaginable within one’s common sense but made possible by changing the shape of inside. This is the method used for the Osaka castle. Nobody knew how it was made for hundred years since the construction, but was discovered by X-ray.

【10】

TYPE OF JOINT
Isuka-Shachi

image2PURPOSE
Ceiling pole
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
The same method as Isuka-Tsugi. Only difference is integrating the way to tighten the joint parts in the upper part. If you look from the below part (opposite side of the back), it looks same as Isuka-Tsugi.

【11】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shikake-Ari

image7

PURPOSE
Framing
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
There are 2 types of Ari tsugi with Shikake-Ari and Kuma-Ari and Shikake-Ari is used for the parts made into the finish. Kuma-Ari does not incorporate the Shikake and Ari-hozo affects the size.

【12】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shiho-Henkei-Tsugi

image1PURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Magnolia
SHORT DESCRIPTION
There is no way for usage since it is too difficult and impracticable. Some say that this is skill challange from old carpenter to new carpenter in next generation.

【13】

TYPE OF JOINT
Dodai-Sumi-Hozo

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27237074688_fb9ccc16e9_zPURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
The joint which the Kone hozo kusabi uchi on the foundation and Ari-hozo on the column are jointed together. It gives the strength to the corners made of two straight parts.

【14】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shiho-Matsu-Kawa-Tsugi
27237066168_43587e214a_z41109572641_f5fde22c3a_z 41109572781_11fa935cf2_z41109572521_7ccf8d7b11_zPURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Pine
SHORT DESCRIPTION
Another way to trick people. It is ingenious, very rare to use. Two dimensional method is changed into three dimension. Normally it is jointed in the horizontal or vertical way but this one is jointed from the diagonal direction. It was used in architectures in the Edo era but was not practical but rather show off the skill and knowledge of the craftsmen at the time. Nobody knows the time, area, author about the used cases.

 

【15】

TYPE OF JOINT
Shiho-Kanawa-Tsugi

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PURPOSE
Pillar
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
Same method as Shiho-Matsu-Kawa-Tsugi. The joint is not the way of it but Kanawa-tsugi.

【16】

TYPE OF JOINT
Koshikake-Ari-Tsugi

image20PURPOSE
Foundation
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is the version adding the Koshikake part to the general way of joint, “Ari-tsugi” .The function of the Koshikake part supports the unstable Ari-tsugi.

【17】

TYPE OF JOINT
Koya-Gumi-SumiKi-Shikuchi

27237076998_f95340cdd3_z 27237077148_f734772158_zPURPOSE
Rooftop
MATERIAL
Cypress
SHORT DESCRIPTION
This is the structure used for the corner of rooftop of houses but this particular one is the replica of the one which has gone through the skill test for carpenters and differs from the practical method. Sumitsuke (blacking: the traditional way of measuring) requires the adaptation of high skill and knowledge and it is said to be the soul of carpenter.