Friday, August 2, 2013

Design of the Setouchi Tenmasen

A bit out of order, but a reader mentioned that I had not written much about the boat and its design.  The boat is a tenmasen, a typical small cargo boat from the Inland Sea region.  The lines drawings are from the Seto Nai Kai Museum and date from the 1950's or 60’s.  Boatbuilders always drew their boats on a plank of wood to a 1/10th scale.  The boat was built in Ushimado, a small waterfront community now part of Setouchi City.  Very typical Japanese small boat style, with the aft end of the plank keel uplifted, and two planks per side.  One interesting feature is the two piece transom which is not in one plane but joined at an angle.  In the drawing you can see the two stations used by the builder, another common element of boatbuilders here, who used far less reference points than their western counterparts.  The boat’s overall length is about twenty feet.  This boat would have been propelled off the stern by a ro, or Japanese sculling oar, similar to the Chinese yuloh.  

The image here is a design made by my apprentice, Takumi Suzuki.  He used the original lines drawing we got from the museum and added graphics and labels.  The design is for a tenugui, or a traditional hand towel.

And I will give another update on other blogs going on around this project.  One is being written by my apprentice and the other by my project partner Koji Matano.  You can also find video clips and links at the other blogs. (English and Japanese 日本語) (Japanese only 日本語)

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