The basic form of traditional Japanese architecture is a wooden foundation or pillar resting on a “foundation stone”.
The surface of the stone used as the foundation is uneven. The processing technique to precisely fit the wood into this uneven stone is called “Hikari-tsuke”. This is a simple, but tedious process.
1: Place the base on the stone and use a compass to copy the unevenness of the stone. Trace the unevenness of the stone with one axis of the compass and reproduce it with the other axis.
2: Process the base according to the unevenness of the copied stone.
3: Sprinkle lime on the stone and check the degree of adhesion between the wood and stone as you work. If the stone and wood do not adhere to each other, only a small amount of lime will stick to the base when it is placed.
4: Scrape off the lime covered area (i.e., the area where the stone will hit) and continue to scrape off the wood and place it on the stone until the lime is evenly applied to the entire area.
The base illuminated in this way is in close contact with the stone, so it hardly moves. It is not always easy to do, but it is important to put effort into the most important foundation of a building.
We are creating online learning materials where you can learn about Japanese carpentry in English through the actual construction of the building!
It will be on sale at the kickstarter price from November 14th to December 6th, 2021, so be sure to check it out!