NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


宮大工 Miya-daiku Miyadaiku

Jp En

Miyadaiku are specialists in the construction of shrines and temples. As miyadaiku stay and work in a construction site away from home for many years, they are also called “peripatetic carpenters.” Different from ordinary carpenters, miyadaiku never build the same building because there are no shrines or temples of the same design in this country. The building they build will stand for hundreds of years by being given many repair works, miyadaiku need to acquire not only excellent carpentry techniques but also knowledge in various fields including archaeology and geology. Using more than 300 kinds of tools, miyadaiku use elaborate traditional wood joinery techniques called “hikite” and “tsugite,” where no nails are used. These elaborate skills are transmitted orally from a master to an apprentice.

There used to be several hundred miyadaiku in Japan, but now there are only about one hundred. Some of the famous miyadaiku are Tsunekazu Nishioka, the Master Carpenter in the Showa Grand Renovations at Horyuji Temple, Kahei Sasaki, who directed the renovation of Asakusa Kannon Hall, and Shoji Matsuura, the specialist in preservation of cultural assets and directed the repair work of the five-story pagoda at Kaijusenji Temple in Kyoto.

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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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