Sakujikata - Carpenter -


Carpenter Skill - Kigorosi (pounding the edges of planks of wood to join them )

  Carpenter Rules have been continued for a few hundreds years. Only a person who continues to follow its rules can be a professional.  
  One of good characteristics about Kyo-Machiya is very comfortable to stay in hot summer. However, construction of Kyo-Machiya is proceeded during severe weather, winter.
Mr. Masanobu Araki, Chairman of Araki Komuten Co., Ltd. and also master carpenter, says
  ‘It is said that process of construction should be in winter. Plastering a mud wall has to be done
  before a new year. The reason why it is said that is because woods won't get browned by sun
  if it completes in winter, and also won't be dried easily in this season.'
Wooden materials should be dried slowly, otherwise, its texture will be thrown into disorder. This condition is called ‘Hashagu'. That is why building a wooden house should be started in fall and proceeded with construction during winter to make woods dry slowly. However, there are a couple of freezing days in Kyoto, therefore plastering and drying a mud wall should be complete before a new year. It assumes that it is a standard of the progress.

   ‘Then, the wood condition will be stable through the rainy season and summer.
   In the early days, a house had been built with time and care.’

There are still a lot of Carpenter Rules except the above. Woods should be set up naturally. It is not acceptable to set up an inverted pillar, and the top ends of the horizontal members should be put in the South or East. Those rules help to prevent woods from being thrown into disorder in future.
If some posts of Kyo-Machiya partially rot off, remove only bad sections and fill in new as a repair.
  Our boss was the specialist of handling woods so that everybody called him Kigorosi-Isamu(his nickname). All woods he pounded could be fit into the posts perfectly.
For example, grinders , posts and crossbeams inserted into the fire box in traditional Japanese lantern etc. Those are the opportunity for Machiya carpenters to show their skill. Joints or connections which had been made carefully by skillful carpenters are still perfectly fit with a long time.