Animated GIFs Illustrating the Art of Japanese Wood Joinery


Japanese wood joinery dates back to the seventh century and is a craftsmanship technique that involves complicated, interlocking wooden joints that form bonds without the use of nails, screws or adhesives. Even until recent times when carpentry books began to be published, mastery of these woodworking techniques remained the fiercely guarded secret of family carpentry guilds.


Several years ago a young Japanese man working in automobile marketing discovered one such book. “I was fascinated by the traditional techniques of creating strong bonds without the use of nails or adhesive,” he says, speaking with Spoon & Tamago. But the instructions were very systematic and difficult to visualize. So he began ordering wood joinery books from all over the world but was unable to find any that were fully comprehensive. And the two-dimensional stills weren’t helpful either. So he began to create his own three-dimensional, animated illustrations.

Working with self-taught woodworking skills and mechanical design software Fusion360, he began creating his animations and posting them to a twitter account: @TheJoinery_jp.


Wood joinery is a dying art but the man behind these animations has hope. “3D printing and woodworking machinery has enabled us to create complicated forms fairly easily” he says, indicating that wood joinery techniques have plenty of applications for digital processing and manufacturing as well. “I want to organize all the joinery techniques and create a catalog of them all.”







  1. Absolutely fascinating, incredibly beautiful! Can we post a link to this post in our blog?

  2. So intelligent, skilled, elegant, functional… design at it’s best !!!

  3. Amazing joint design! But how on earth can you cut them accurately??! Each one looks like a multi-faceted sculpture, not something practical for furniture-making unless you want to make one piece a year!

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