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Japanese carpentry miyadaiku. Source: Fergus Coyle / Adobe Stock.

Repairing Temples in Japan Without a Single Nail (Video)

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In historical Japan, the luxury of using metal for construction was a costly endeavor out of reach for many carpenters. As a workaround, the ingenious "miyadaiku" carpenters, specialized in temple construction, evolved their woodworking craft to develop intricate methods of interlocking wood. These techniques, often likened to the assembly of a complex 3D puzzle, allowed for strong, durable structures without the need for nails or metal bindings. This not only addressed the material constraints of the time but also showcased the unparalleled precision and artistry of Japanese woodworking.

Takahiro Matsumoto, with over four decades of experience as a miyadaiku carpenter, embodies this ancient craftsmanship in modern times. Stationed in Kamakura, Japan, he helms a company dedicated to preserving the city's historical essence by repairing its venerable temples. These temples, bearing centuries of history and spiritual significance, are maintained using the same age-old techniques that have been handed down through generations. Matsumoto's commitment ensures that these temples, representing deep cultural and spiritual ties, remain intact and continue to inspire awe for future generations.

Top image: Japanese carpentry miyadaiku. Source: Fergus Coyle / Adobe Stock.

By Joanna Gillan

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Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

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