Suikoushya representative: Takami Kawai
Hello! I am Takami Kawai, a Japanese carpenter.
I enjoy woodworking at the Suikoushya in Kyoto.
In addition to repairing shrines and renovating old houses, we share fine woodworking with people, hold woodworking classes around the world, and hold joinery solo exhibitions.
I’ll give you a little more detail about me, so keep reading until the end.
1: The day I decided to become a carpenter
What made me a carpenter was a house designed by my great-grandfather Kanjiro Kawai. He was a potter and artist who produced many works in the fields of sculpture, design, calligraphy, poetry, lyrics and essays.
I decided to be a carpenter at the age of 10.
2: Aiming for a new carpenter
I was aiming to be a new carpenter who will support the Japanese construction industry, so I decided to study architecture. So I went to the faculty of architecture at a national university and became a carpenter.
3: Training period
In Miyama-cho, Kyoto known as “Kayabuki no Sato”, I started a carpenter’s apprenticeship to protect the original scenery of good old Japan. The salary during this period was 100,000 yen a month.
4: Sharing dreams
At the age of 27, I married a woman who was my friend from college.
By sharing dreams with her, my dreams come true one by one.
5: To Ise Shrine
I had the opportunity to participate in Ise Shrine rebuilding project.The first carpentry work at Jingu was to show my true ability. I couldn’t do it at first, so I felt embarrassed and frustrated, but the four years at Ise Jingu were pure fun and fulfilling times.
6: take disciple
I wanted to teach someone the excitement, joy, and satisfaction of what I learned at Ise Jingu. I took the plunge and adopted a disciple. While working with him, I found myself enjoying the joy of sharing carpentry skills. In addition, taking advantage of his fluency in English, he will have the opportunity to share Japanese woodworking with people around the world.
7: Established suikoushya international craft school
February 2018 Kickstarter campaign started to create a Japanese woodworking class that can be learned in English. With the support of more than 200 people from dozens of countries around the world, we built a woodworking class in Kyoto, Japan. We look forward to sharing the best woodworking with you at this Kyoto school, which we created together with Japanese woodworking fans around the world.
For more details, please watch the self introduction video.
The lumberyard surrounding the Suikousya office in Arashiyama, Kyoto, is loud with the clamor of hammers and saws. A heater gently putters in the corner of the room, tempering the chill of the early spring air. Every item in the office is wood, and clearly handcrafted. I admire the perfect patterns in the woodgrain of the table as Kawai Takami draws up a stool opposite me.
We had the privilege to meet Takami Kawai in Kyoto this Summer and drop in to the acclaimed Japanese woodwork course he runs for international students. Along with teaching commitments, Takami is a Maker and runs a design and construction practice specialising in traditional Japanese homes.
I look forward to the day when I can share wonderful woodworking with you！