Toshio Odate’s Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use

Very Special Edition of Toshio Odate’s “Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use”

WoodEzine just heard from Linden Publishing, Inc. that the company will soon be publishing a special edition of Mr. Odate’s book at the original 9” x 12” size in hardcover, with a dust jacket and slip case. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to own something that is very special to serious woodworkers around the globe. Each book is numbered, signed, and stamped with the Odate family crest. This limited edition will not be available in bookstores or on Amazon, and Linden expects it to be available mid-January.

Mr. Odate is a living treasure who recently turned ninety. He is a master woodworker, schooled in the Japanese woodcraft tradition, and a popular author.

Shortly after World War II, at the age of 16, he became apprenticed as a tategu-shi (sliding-door maker). This was at a time when all of the work was done by hand and thus speed and accuracy were imperative, so this book offers a wonderful opportunity to experience a way of life that has long disappeared and to understand the traditional tools, many still in use, that were the life of a shokunin. In 1984, he wrote an extraordinary book about Japanese

woodworking tools and it became an instant classic. It was the first book to introduce the English-speaking world to the tools, craftsmanship, tradition, and philosophy of traditional Japanese craftsmen who worked strictly with hand tools. Today, nearly 40 years later, that tradition is becoming a fading art in Japan, and Odate is determined that its precious tradition shall be preserved for future generations. To fulfill that pledge, Linden Publishing has spared no effort to make this special edition a permanent fixture on the shelves of dedicated craftsmen. It is an archive-quality heirloom edition that will last for more than a lifetime.

Calling on his own apprenticeship and a lifetime of woodworking experience, Odate offers a complete guide to Japanese tools including thin saws that cut on the pull stroke, laminated chisels with hollowed backs, marking tools, waterstones, axes, hammers, and almost 50 different planes. He shows how each tool works, how it should be cared for and how it is meant to be used. He also shares stories and reminiscences that help bring home the traditions and spirit associated with each tool. The book is a collector’s item and the ultimate gift for a discerning woodworker. It will be available on the Woodworkers Library and other non-bookstore sites such as Lost Art Press – check with your favorite supplier. It includes a new preface by Toshio Odate, and is printed on acid-free paper with sewn signatures.

For woodworkers who would like a standard paperback copy of the original book, click here.