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Shoji and patterns Book 1

The first of the e-books on shoji and patterns is now up on Amazon (the “Look Inside” and other features will be added by Amazon over the next day or so).
This one includes a brief background of shoji and the different types, and two of the three shoji that were in the paperback book. It also details the different ways of making the
asa-no-ha. There are 185 line drawings and photos giving step-by-step instructions on making the shoji and asa-no-ha pattern. All for the price of US$6.99.

The Complete Guide to Shoji and Kumiko Patterns Vol.1 cover

I’ve had to split the book up because the file would have been far too big for people’s patience with the download if I’d included the entire paperback book in the e-book. Also by keeping the number of shoji and especially the patterns down to a reasonable level in each e-book, I can get the patterns out and available more quickly, rather than waiting to build enough for a decent sized hard copy book.

While my e-books have been formatted for Kindle and Amazon, it doesn’t mean that you need a Kindle device to read them. In fact, for books like this, the Kindle or other e-book reader is probably the last way you’d want to read them. Amazon have a range of applications you can download for free so you can read the e-books on your computer or iPad so the images are a bit more readable. The Amazon link is
here. For people who have bought the book, higher resolution images for the shoji and kumiko pattern dimensions are available on my website for printing or downloading.

So not having a Kindle is no excuse for not buying this book, charging out to the workshop and getting stuck into some kumiko patterns.


Publishing direction – soon the patterns

Among other things, I’m currently converting the rest of my book into Kindle format for inclusion in the Kindle Store at Amazon. This is the shoji part. I’m not sure whether the remainder will be one book or two; this will depend on the overall size of the file with all the diagrams.

Once I’ve completed that, I’ll then convert the part of the second book that I’ve finished, which goes into patterns that are considerably more complex.

After that, I’ll start writing and putting kumiko patterns into Kindle format. Last night I worked out that I have roughly 80 individual patterns that I can cover in future books. Some of these are reasonably straightforward, while others are extremely complex to say the least. Many of these patterns are never seen these days, simply because of their complexity and the time needed to make them.

I will make sure that you will be able to make all of the patterns I cover with normal hand tools and jigs. You won’t need to buy any expensive specialist planes like my
ha-ganna. And for those patterns where specialist tool are needed, I’ll make the necessary adjustments to their design so that jigs can take the place of those specialist tools.

All this will happen over the course of a few years, but I’m hoping I can get the first few out sooner rather than later. These patterns are really the fun part of shoji and kumiko work—frustrating at times, but fun.

I’m looking forward to starting on this project, and I hope that many of you will also find it interesting. As I’ve mentioned on this website, kumiko
shokunin tend to keep their knowledge on how to make the intricate kumiko patterns very close to their chest, but an unfortunate by-product of this attitude is that this knowledge and the skills are gradually being lost. Hopefully, these series of books will go part of the way to addressing this, and keeping this knowledge alive and in use, especially in the West.

Kindle book published

It’s now on Amazon at the Kindle Store, and no that’s not me on the cover.


The whole process was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. The reference book I mentioned in the last blog entry (The eBook Design and Development Guide) was a great help in learning how to write up effective and efficient HTML and CSS code, although the final few files that I had to make up to properly compile the final book for submission to Amazon caused more than a few headaches. Eventually I managed to fluke the right parts, and it cleared the Amazon formatting checks. So it’s up on Amazon for sale: for only US$4.99.

The Kindle book is essentially the first part of my book
Shoji and Kumiko Design: Book 1 The Basics, although because of the different format—electronic as opposed to hard copy—I had to touch up all the diagrams and photos. I also made a few minor adjustments where I thought they were necessary.

The Amazon site has a “Click to Look Inside” function, so the sample pages and table of contents will give you an idea of what the book contains. In short, the book covers just about everything you need to know about setting up and maintaining a
kanna, the problems that can occur, and how to avoid them.

So for the price of not too much more than a good cup of cappuccino, you’ll have all the information you need to get those thin and wispy shavings floating out from your