why did you come to Japan?

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An American who records wasen shipbuilding techniques.

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An American who records  wasen shipbuilding techniques.
  • Douglas
    Douglas
    usaFascinated with wasen and following the techniques of its shipbuilding.
    A 55-year-old American who visits wasen workers all over Japan to write about them.
  • Angela
    Angela
    usaAn assistant to Douglas.
    A 28-year old American who records the techniques of wasen shipbuilding together with Douglas.

An American who records wasen shipbuilding techniques.

  • They have arrived to record the techniques of wasen shipbuilding.

    They have arrived to record the techniques of wasen shipbuilding.

    Douglas and Angela record the techniques of wasen shipbuilding. Douglas has visited the wasen workers all over Japan for recording the process of wasen shipbuilding.


    The encounter with a "taraibune".

    The encounter with a

    Douglas was fascinated by the shape of a "taraibune" when he visited Japan for the first time and became interested in wasen.


    Why keep recording the techniques of wasen shipbuilding?

    Why keep recording the techniques of wasen shipbuilding?

    The techniques of Japanese wasen shipbuilding has not been properly inherited in drawing. Douglas feels anxious to inherit it to the next generation and has been traveling around Japan to record 6 shipbuilding in 26 years to publish a book with a visual guide.


    God of isobune.

    God of isobune.

    Douglas and Angela arrives in Rikuzen-takada city, Iwate prefecture to record the techniques of the wasen worker Murakami-san. Murakami-san has been building over 1,000 wasen for 60 years. He is called the god of isobune among fishermen.


    Record the whole process of shipbuilding.

    Record the whole process of shipbuilding.

    Douglas takes a detailed memo to record the whole process for one month until the ship is built.


    All techniques are inside of Murakami-san's head.

    All techniques are inside of Murakami-san's head.

    The bottom of a ship is made by connecting 3 wooden boards. By helping the process Douglas feels the techniques of Murakami-san.


    A beautiful wooden isobune!

    A beautiful wooden isobune!

    One month later the crew makes a visit again and finds a beautiful brand-new wooden isobune. Surprisingly this wooden ship made by Murakami-san costs 500,000 yen and cheaper than the ones made by plastic that costs 700,000 yen.


    Not to fade away the high quality techniques of wasen shipbuilding.

    Not to fade away the high quality techniques of wasen shipbuilding.

    Murakami-san has kindly invited Douglas to the launching ceremony. He seems to have greatly impressed by the isobune and the high quality techniques put into building it.