Japanese culture centre in Kensington to present woodwork exhibition

A Japanese culture centre will present a free new exhibition celebrating the woodwork legacy of central Japan this autumn.

Hosted at Japan House London in Kensington, ‘The Carpenters’ Line: Woodworking Heritage in Hida Takayama’, will feature a series of installations exploring tools, techniques and products, as well as the residents of Hida who devoted their lives to woodwork.

Often in lieu of paying tax, eighth-century Hida craftspeople would build shrines and temples, many of which can still be seen in the Japanese cities Nara and Kyoto today.

Takayama, one of Hida’s three cities, has maintained a vibrant woodworking tradition for more than a millennium and continues to influence furniture design internationally.

The exhibition opens on 29 September and will also feature a series of themed events and workshops.

Simon Wright, the director of programming at Japan House London, said: “The woodworking tradition of the Hida region of Japan continues to inform the present and future of industry and design in the area.

“The densely forested mountains which surround the city of Takayama have for generations provided the gifts of nature which have helped maintain the livelihoods of its inhabitants.

“This heritage is a constant thread throughout the history of this region providing a respected woodworking lineage and our story for The Carpenters’ Line.”

The Carpenters’ Line moniker stands for both the woodworking genealogy in Hida and the Japanese carpentry tool used for marking straight lines on wood.

Visit the Japan House London website to book until 29 January 2023.

Featured image: Igarashi Junya/Japan House London

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