Kigumi Museum

Kigumi means the technique to assemble wood with wood in traditional wooden architecture.

There are about 400 ways of Kigumi, and its history goes back to 4000 years ago, Jomon era.

Woods are assembled horisontally, vertically and diagonally without nails.

At the museum, we can not only see the complexly of the cutting techniques, but also actually experience how to assemble some of them by the samples.

The director Mr. Kazuo Tanikawa worked on construction management of Japanese traditional wooden architecture such as Sukiya, shrines and temples for about 40 years.

He said that wooden architecture is oriiginally quite strong in earthquakes. Actually historical buildings have never collapsed. That's because the joint parts of the building have play and release the power of earthquakes.

However, as recent wooden houses are assembled with metallic parts, not traditional ways, the tightened joints make them collapse more easily.

Mr. Tanigawa urged that we should re-examine the value of Kigumi before it's too late - the number of artisans who knows the traditional Kigumi has been decreasing dramatically.

Website (only in Japanese) :

Access : 5mins walk from Waseda station (Tozai line) Exit2 or 3b