For those of you who are interested in traditional Japanese boats, and I’m not talking about models, but full-sized “wasen”, I recommend you look into the work of Douglas Brooks. Mr. Brooks is an American boat builder who went to Japan to study with Japanese craftsmen, apprenticing with several of them to learn the traditional art of Japanese boat building. He has written many articles and is coming out with a new book that should be due out later this year covering all five of his apprenticeships.
I’ve had the opportunity to communicate with Mr. Brooks recently and come to find out that he used to work at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, where I volunteer along with my fellow colleagues of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights. I’ve also found that we’ve met some of the same folks from Sado Island, where he did at least one of his apprenticeships. And, in communicating with a fellow ship modeler just today, his name came up again. So, it seemed an appropriate time to mention him here.
Douglas Brooks has a great website. Please check it out: Douglas Brooks Boatbuilder – Welcome!
He also has published a book The Tub Boats of Sado Island; A Japanese Craftsman’s Methods. As far as I can tell, this book is only available now directly from him. Ω