Saturday, May 20, 2017

It Begins

We start tomorrow, Monday, building the cormorant fishing boat. Last week we built our shelter structure, a project started by one of the furniture students at the Gifu Academy of Forestry Science and Culture. He's going to be joining us on this project. Also working with me is Marc Bauer, a naval architect from California, whom I worked with on several projects with Tri-Coastal Marine.

And while mentioning links, Masashi, Kutsuwa, head of the furniture program at Gifu Academy, is posting photos here.

As mentioned in an earlier post last January, we will be building a cormorant fishing boat like this one, working with Mr. Seichi Nasu. 

Our framework, necessary for propping boat planking into shape, with its tarp roof, on site at Gifu Academy.

A new nail alongside some old nails. Nasu uses a unique nail called an umbrella nail (top). We ordered a local blacksmith to make us several hundred nails. The middle nail Nasu salvaged from an old boat, something he was forced to do when his blacksmith passed away.

Nasu soaks his nails in brine to get them rusted. He believes it gives them greater holding power.

From left to right: Masashi Kutsuwa, head of the furniture program at Gifu Academy; Satoshi, our student apprentice; Nasu san; me; and Marc. We are all wearing hats I designed and produced with the characters for "cormorant boat" in Japanese, an item we'll be selling to raise some extra funds. This project is funded with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation of Honolulu, Hawaii. We are currently negotiating with Tobunken and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs on a possible partnership on a publication (stay tuned), and we will hear soon about additional funding from the Asian Cultural Council of New York. We also received a generous donation from Mr. Georg Hinteregger of Hope Valley, Rhode Island.

Our workshop is right next to the furniture workshop. The new program started recently and students have been studying sharpening. Masashi has an interesting device to check the work.

He bought a 100-power magnifier for his iPhone camera and he photographs the tool edges to check for sharpness


Here is a local fishing boat Nasu san built. Boats in this region are sized by the length of the bottom (not uncommon in Japan) and this boat is about twenty feet (bottom) long.

Our first day off Marc and I went to Kyoto and at the end of the day stopped in to see Nagatsu Shoichi, a saw sharpener I have blogged about several times. His apprentice had just finished grinding gullets into some saw blades.

Nagatsu san sharpening an azebiki he gave me.

The waters of the Nagara River and its tributaries are incredibly clear, and we see sport fishermen all over the river. We have the hot summer approaching and this spot, about a half mile from the temple where we are staying, is going to be my swimming hole.

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