Sunday, January 22, 2006


Kanna 鉋 かんな Planes

My first high end tools were planes, and metal ones. I ordered from a well known maker in the US. I was extreemly happy to receive them and the pleasure to use a hand plane for the first time was immense. As Mr Charlesworth says, "planing is therapeutic".

Right now I can't recall how I happen to be interested in Japanese tools, but the first one I got was given to me by a Taiwanese craftman (it happens that I will later have the chance to meet the maker of that plane, Mr Yamaguchi).

So... why Japanese versus others? It for sure has to do with my first visit to Japan. From Sachiko and Mr Sugimura to Mr Yamaguchi, the people I have met are sincerally good hearted. The tools I have been given have a soul for me. I have met there maker and talked to them. They symbolize the sympathy I've received from these Japanese woodworkers, craftmen, bladesmiths and students.
I was conforted in my orientation when a retired civil engineer asked me how I liked the Asuka (飛鳥) plane I had just ordered from an auction site. We have been regularly corresponding with each other since almost a year, sometimes on a daily basis. I wish I could meet him in person, either in Japan or anywhere else, because he appears to inspire the same Japanese sympathy as I've seen among Japanese woordworkers.

Here are pictures of some of my planes:

This is the Magatama mokume (勾玉木目), made by Tesshinsai Houraku (鉄心斎芳楽)

Gojyunen, from Tsunesaburo

White Phoenix, from Yamaguchi-san
This is an old plane, given to me by a Taiwanese carpenter from Toufen, Miaoli. Red oak long dai.

I won the blade and subblade (more exactly, Sachiko from Kezuroukai gave me a wining ticket. Thank you Sachiko! 幸子:ありがとうございます)

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