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Blog entry by posted 07-26-2007 04:57 PM 930 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch


14 comments so far

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 07-26-2007 05:08 PM

Well done Jojo. It is great to see how other cultures solve various problems. Since they have had this one for hundreds of years, sounds like it was a great solution.

Keep them coming.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 3666 days

#2 posted 07-26-2007 07:13 PM

Yes keep them coming, Enjoying the photos and information.

-- Joel Tille

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3508 days

#3 posted 07-26-2007 10:57 PM

I’ve really enjoyed this Jojo. Thanks for taking the time.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 07-26-2007 11:16 PM

I love Japanese joinery.

Actually the wheels on carts was seldom used in Japan before modern roads.
The country is mostly mountainous, and was more of a disadvantage. People
usually walked, rode horses or were carried.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3736 days

#5 posted 07-26-2007 11:36 PM

Thanks for the tour. I’ve enjoyed getting out and seeing some of the world.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 3598 days

#6 posted 07-26-2007 11:36 PM

Thanks, Jojo. Your photography and well written test makes everything so understandable.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 3627 days

#7 posted 07-27-2007 03:40 AM

Hello Jojo;
—-well you sure have helped me understand what I was asking….

b) twelve spokes, grouped two by two and each pair inserted in an arched cross member”, yes that was needing clarification in my mind….
—-and—-then you gave me more;
Each of the former crossmembers that regroup the pairs of spokes is then inserted and fixed in betwixt of two of the outer pieces

Regarding the axle, what you saw it is indeed a wedge. Sort of, because it doesn’t actually act as a wedge but it goes through a hole in the metal axle and is secured on the other side by a huge padlock (about 10” wide by 6” tall)”; also I was wondering about….and now you explained my wondering….’a huge padlock’....

What you said about the ‘mortise and tenon’ joint does not surprise me. This is where ‘western thought’ and ‘eastern thought’ concerning woodworking and ‘wood joinery’ can vary much. There are many, many varieties of the the mortise and tenon joint and when properly done and fitted to the need of the wood….it is a vey strong joint. It’s uses can range from small boxes, chairs, tables and cabinetry to houses and barn and then as you have so shown and explained, cart wheels.

Now there’s a thought just passing through my head for the ‘wood joinery’ entry of summer 2007….a wooden wagon with hand made mortise and tenon wheels….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3582 days

#8 posted 07-27-2007 10:55 AM

this is SO fascinating—and it just makes me realize that “anything” can be created if you put your mind to it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View 's profile

593 posts in 3393 days

#9 posted 07-27-2007 04:34 PM

Wow! I’m stunned at all your compliments. Thank you all.

Bill & Debbie: it’s very true that living immersed in a different culture is a real eye-opener that broadens widely the boundaries of your mind. Asian people have a way quite opposite to ours at looking at life and that is also reflected in the way they face the challenges it presents.

Joel, Bob & Dennis: thank you, it’s my pleasure to share this tidbits of life with the fellows overseas. Wait, it’s actually me who’s overseas! :o)

Don: I’m flattered you like my photography, even though the best I shoot have no place in this blog because they aren’t wood related but I find so funny you find ”well written” my way of butchering English. It’s the one thing I’d never expect. Thank you mate.

GaryK: Japanese joinery is so amazing that the most you look at the most hooked on it you are. Regarding the (non-)use of carts, you know it well. The Samurai and the Shogun used to ride horses, the warriors and “inferior” ones used either to ride or walk, and the wives of the powerful were carried on stuff like this:



This is original and it must be some 200 years old. What you see is the left side with a sliding door that occupies most of it. If you look carefully you’ll see one of the door guides close to the bottom right part of the image. The door is the width of the window, which is equipped with a red-painted-straw rolling shade. It’s finished with ”urushi” lacquer and, even if I don’t know it for sure, I guess is made out of paulownia wood, very lightweight and used mostly for traditional ”tansu” cabinets.

No, don’t ask me about the joinery involved as I have no idea whatsoever.

This was the mandatory wood-related plug.

Frank: I’m glad my long and obscure rambling helped you get it. Certainly mortise & tenon looks very simple and humble compared to dovetails but it’s much more versatile and almost infinite in possibilities. Maybe it’s a little too late to think about the Summer ‘07 contest, isn’t it? :o)

Damn! Why can’t I make a single post that is shorter than the British Encyclopaedia?

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3418 days

#10 posted 07-28-2007 07:31 AM

So glad that I caught up on this! So, that “wedge” is really nothing more than a giant cotter pin!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View 's profile

593 posts in 3393 days

#11 posted 07-28-2007 09:08 AM

There you have it, I couldn’t remember that name for my life. Thank you Dorje.

In my comment I forgort to say that this carrier thingie was usually resting on top of the shoulders of four young men, two at each end of the long beam, arranged in tandem mode.

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3822 days

#12 posted 07-28-2007 03:11 PM

Great post Jojo. You have continued to shead the light from a culture that has a rich past.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 3368 days

#13 posted 09-08-2007 02:58 PM

Nice series Jojo. During my past travels in Japan and Korea, I was always impressed with the various temples and shrines I would run across. Wonderful woodworking, often with the most intricate detail on full sized structures.

View 's profile

593 posts in 3393 days

#14 posted 09-08-2007 04:16 PM

Thank you gbvinc. It’s true that not very often one can see those big buildings with such quality of craftmanship outside Japan. I will enjoy then while I can.

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