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Carpentry. Hiroka Yasanori. - [Banjo Machiya Hinagata].

Nihonbashi (Tokyo), Suharaya Mohei 1770 (Meiwa 7). Two volumes 26x18cm publisher's wrappers with title labels (a bit nibbled); diagrams and working drawings. Some worming but nothing too serious. ¶ A pattern book for house framing, rooves and so on. I've wondered who these early building manuals were for. Not just in Japan; in England and Europe I think they were for owners and architects - once such a thing existed - to get some idea how how a building was constructed. In Tokugawa Japan, where control of the building trade was fiercely held by one or two families and the master carpenter was the architect, why were they published? Were they text books to be used within the family and guilds - by senior craftsmen who could read? Or were they spoilers by would be competitors trying break the stranglehold on trade secrets. Most surviving copies of these pattern books are grimy wrecks which suggests either apprentices or tradesmen fairly low on the pecking order used them but did books for actual working people exist in the west or east at this time? What need was there for a man with saw, mallet and chisel to know how to lay out a complex roof? Titles usually state they are for master craftsmen but what need of them did they have? Building regulations changed suprisingly often from the middle of the 17th century onwards - which is when these books began to proliferate - so were they to brush up on the latest standards? When there's a fifty year gap between the first and second edition? That's what edicts are for. There must be studies of the books and their purpose but I'm yet to find anything in English.
AUD 165.00 [Appr.: EURO 102 US$ 109.75 | £UK 89.75 | JP¥ 14350] Book number 11003

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