Building the Japanese House Today

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By (author) Peggy Landers Rao.

The traditional Japanese house is universally admired for its clean lines, intricate joinery, and unparalleled woodworking. The authors of this elegant volume, Peggy Landers Rao and Len Brackett, show how a classic Japanese- style house can be built to offer the warmth and comfort that modern homeowners require. Len Brackett, rigorously trained in traditional architecture in Kyoto, has spent decades adapting the ancient Japanese design aesthetic to Western needs. He builds traditional live-on-the-floor houses, as well as versions that accommodate furniture. Both types provide the essential features expected in today's new homes - central heating, insulation, weather stripping, thermal glazing, streamlined kitchens, computerized lighting systems, and the latest electronics. The book's primary focus is on a single guesthouse in California, but pictures of other adaptations of the traditional Japanese house in America exemplify various points. Architects will find reference charts of the prescribed set of proportions and dimensions normally passed down through a strict system of apprenticeship.
Builders and woodworkers can turn to explanations about selecting grain and anticipating shrinkage of various woods. A remarkable tool used to lay out precise joints is described in detail. Various sources are given for materials, including where to find a contemporary version of the distinctive, traditional earthen plaster.


  • Format: Hardback, 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 221 x 281.9 x 33mm | 1.4kg
  • Publication date: 14 Oct 2005
  • Publisher: Abrams
  • Imprint: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Publication City/Country: New York, United States
  • Language: English
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations, cl / b&w / ttphotos
  • ISBN10: 0810959313
  • ISBN13: 9780810959316
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Building the Japanese house today book.

A well written and inspiring book - wish I was in a position to build something like this, however it has provided some good insights and design ideas which I am incorporating into my woodwork - mainly small furniture and boxes.

Ray B.
Australia Australia