$73,109 raised out of $3,000,000
Start date
Dec 19, 2020
Close date
Jan 18, 2021

Learn woodworking with a shrine carpenter(Miyadaiku)


While there are several places to study Japanese woodworking in Japan, almost all of them are being taught in Japanese. I felt that the passion in Japanese carpentry shouldn’t go to waste because of language barriers, so I started the “Study Woodworking in Japan!” Kickstarter Campaign back in 2018. With the generous support of 221 supporters, we were able to successfully start our school in Kyoto, where students from all over the world came to join our one month classes to learn Japanese woodworking without having to speak or understand Japanese.

It has been 2 years since our school first opened our doors, and we have had the pleasure of sharing Japanese woodworking with a diverse group of students. However, there are still many who wanted to come and study with us here in Kyoto, but weren’t able to do so due to physical and economic reasons. So I had this idea about bringing Japanese woodworking to them instead. The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to bring my Japanese woodworking school abroad. I want to teach our classes in different parts of the world. This way, the physical barrier will be removed, which allows me to share the skills, knowledge and joy of Japanese woodworking skills with more people from different parts of the world.

Our first step is to set up our first international school in Marseille, France. I will be teaching the same one month course as we did from our original Kyoto school, where students can learn Japanese Woodworking in English. If you weren’t able to come to Japan because it’s too far away, or if you are currently living in nearby European countries, please join us at our school in the South of France.

Why pursue this?

While I enjoy sharing and teaching online immensely, I feel that there are limits to what one can learn just from reading books and watching videos. By immersing yourself in the physical environment of the Japanese carpenters – hearing the sounds of a sharpening blade; getting a feel of the necessary force applied; familiarizing yourself the carpenter’s line of sight and posture; and seeing and brightness of the sharpened blade – you become a part of an unique atmosphere created by Japanese craftsmen that I believe will help greatly in improving your level of woodworking. That is why I would like to meet in person and share the joy of Japanese woodworking with you!

About the Teacher

My name is Takami Kawai and I’m a traditional Japanese carpenter and architect, with 20 years of experience in sustainable design and construction. I enjoy using traditional Japanese techniques as much as I can in my work. 

After working for the world renowned Ise Grand Shrine, I run a small design and construction company called Suikoushya, specializing in the restoration of shrines and traditional Japanese houses.

The art of Japanese architectural craftsmanship used in timber frame structure was approved for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List earlier this month. I believe that Japanese woodworking shouldn’t just be seen as a traditional skills to be protected, but rather, it should be something that is living and accessible. It is my passion and goal to share with everyone the skills, knowledge, and the joy of being a Japanese carpenter. 

You can find a couple of interviews I have done here and here

Social media: Youtube | Instagram | Facebook

Ise Grand Shrine

The story of Suikoushya so far

We started Suikoushya the construction company after my work with the Ise Grand Shrine. In 2018, Suikoushya also became an international Craft School after our kickstarter campaign, and we have welcomed many students from all over the world since. Here’s our story so far:

February 2018

The Kickstarter campaign for Suikoushya, Kyoto was started. It was successfully funded with the generous support of many backers.

May 2018

We have officially started our One-Month Japanese Woodworking course.


About two years have passed since we first started Suikoushya and have since accepted more than 50 students from more than 20 countries around the world.

Summer-Winter 2020

Because of COVID-19, it was nearly impossible for students from outside of Japan to join our classes. During this time, I have spent the time to make a torii gate and donated it to a local shrine, in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic would slow down across the world.

Our Torii gate project in the summer of 2020

Spring 2021

I will open a Japanese woodworking school in France – a place where Japanese woodworking fans from Europe and abroad can learn more closely.

In the meantime, the original Suikoushya Woodworking School in Kyoto will become a community space. Please come visit if you’re in Kyoto!

What to expect?

After the completion of the first Suikoushya school abroad in Marseille, we will be hosting the one month Japanese woodworking class and one day experience. The classes and workshops will be conducted in English where you will learn intensively about traditional Japanese woodworking.

In our class, you will learn about the arts and crafts of traditional Japanese woodworking, from hand tools, joinery to traditional Japanese construction. You can see our detailed one month course outline here.

By learning about Japanese traditional woodworking with Suikoushya, you can discover the charms and depth of the Japanese woodworking culture. With these attained skills and knowledge, working with wood becomes an endless possibility.

A peek at the class in Kyoto

¥1000 onwards

Thank you for helping fund our community !

 Your support is much appreciated. 

¥3,000 onwards

We will send you a PDF file of our original textbook used in our woodworking class. We will also send you Videobook@suikoushya, a book with all the links to our YouTube videos.  

¥10,000 onwards

Help us buy a post or beam that we will use to build our school in France.  Takami Kawai will write your name on a post or a beam. A video and photograph of the writing will be sent to you. However, you will not be able to pick which post or beam your name will be written on. 

You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

¥20,000 onwards

Help us buy a big beam which will be used to build the school!

Takami Kawai will write your name on a big natural beam. A video and photograph of the writing will be sent to you. However, you will not be able to pick which big beam your name will be written on. 

You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

¥15,000 onwards 

Receive a specially ordered Nomi (Japanese chisel) hand forged by one of the only blacksmiths in Kyoto, Imai-san. The size is 12mm and shipping cost is included. 

Each Nomi is hand forged by the 2nd and 3rd generation (father and son) blacksmiths.

The Nomi is popular amongst local craftsmen and only available here (or by buying directly from his store).

You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

¥17,500 onwards

We will send you a sumitsubo. A sumitsubo is an ink pot, one of the traditional marking tools in Japan used by Japanese carpenters. You can actually use it. It is also an art in itself!  

 You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

¥25,000 onwards

We would like to invite you to join our one day workshop in Marseille, France! 

In this 6 hours experience, you will be introduced to the different Japanese hand tools and learn how to set them up  properly and use them. You can check the reviews of our past one day experience workshops here.

You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

Please note that travel expenses and accommodation expenses will not included included, and if you already have your own hand tools, please feel free to bring them along.

¥100,000 onwards

We would like to invite you to join us for a 3-days Workshop in Marseille, France!

We host two types of 3-days workshop:

  •  Weekend 3-days workshop for making joineries (Includes Japanese chisel and plane)

  •  Weekend 3-days workshop for making kanna dai:Japanese plane body(Includes Japanese chisel and kanna blade)

Please check here for the content of the class.

I have been hosting similar 3-days workshops in different countries. You can see pictures of our past workshops here.

You will also receive the PDF textbook from above.

Please note that travel expenses and accommodation expenses will not included included.

¥600,000 onwards

We would like to invite you to our one month course in Marseille, France!

It is the same intensive course that we have been hosting in Kyoto, where you will learn about the different aspects about Japanese woodworking. Please check here for more details of our planned one month course in France.

Check out Student ’s Experience here.

Please note that travel expenses and accommodation expenses will not included included.

Stretch goal!

If the total pledge exceeds 3.3 million yen, we will be filming and documenting the building process, up to the opening of our school in France as an extra reward for all our supporters.

What are the funds for?

In order for us to bring all this to you and share the fine art of Japanese woodworking with more people, we will need to have a workshop space where we can do the teaching and produce more contents. We will be renting a workshop space in Marseille and renovate it into a Japanese carpentry workshop/classroom.

The funds raised will be used to cover the material and construction costs of this new learning space.

Together with woodworkers from all over the world, I would like to share the world of Japanese woodworking! I would be happy if you could support us!













私の活動については、京都ジャーナルmakern interviewの記事も参考にしてください。

ソーシャルメディア:Youtube | Instagram | フェイスブック


伊勢神宮で働いた後、建設会社の翠紅舎Suikoushyaを立ち上げました。2018年にはキックスターターキャンペーンを経てSuikoushya International Craft School in Kyotoを開校し、世界中から多くの学生を迎えてきました。これまでのストーリーは次のとおりです。


Suikoushya International Craft School in Kyotoのキックスターターキャンペーンを開始。多くの支持者からの支援によって目標を達成しました。




Suikoushya International Craft School in Kyotoを始めてから約2年が経ち、世界20カ国以上から50人以上の学生を受け入れてきました。





この間、Suikoushya International Craft School in Kyotoは木工愛好家のためのコミュニティスペースとして利用する予定です。京都にいらっしゃる方は是非お越しください!


マルセイユで最初のSuikoushya International Craft School in マルセイユが開設された後、私たちは1ヶ月の日本の木工教室と1日の体験を主催します。クラスやワークショップは英語で行われ、日本の伝統的な木工について集中的に学びます。


Suikoushya International Craft School in マルセイユで日本の伝統的な木工を学ぶことで、日本の木工文化の魅力と深みを知って欲しいです。ここで習得したスキルと知識により、木材を扱うことに無限の可能性が生まれるでしょう。






木工教室で使用しているオリジナル教科書のPDFファイルをお送りします。また、YouTubeビデオへのすべてのリンクが記載された本であるVideobook @suikoushyaをお送りします。























  • ジョイナリーを作るための週末の3日間のワークショップ
  • 鉋台を作るための週末の3日間のワークショップ