Daisuke Masuda

Daisuke Masuda
Woodwork (Sashimono)
Mr. Masuda studied industrial design attechnical college. After graduating, his aspiration was to be a designer in furniture manufucturing. However, as well as wanting to design the furniture, he also wanted to make things himself. He wanted to learn a craft, so he took up an apprenticeship under traditional Japanese woodwork Edo Sashimono. He became an independent craftsman after seven years of study. His sashimono creations actively draw on collaboration with artisans in other fields.
Brief Personal History
2009Open his workshop Sashimono Masuda
1997Took up an apprenticeship with Mr. Watanabe, Edo Sashimono craftman
1995Woaked in a funiture company
1975Born in Tokyo
2019Participate in Tokyo Teshigoto
2016Selected Artisan by Toyota Lexus New Takumi Project


Mr. Masuda is an artisan who works according to his clients' requestes, from design through to production. That means there is a huge variety in the style of his works. For Japanique, he has only chosend portable sashimono items out of lots of his works, so they are suitable for use overseas. These are unique products, sure to attract attention from everyone who sees them!

About Sashimono

Sashimono is a woodwork technique, whereby wood is jointed without the use of nails. The technique originated over 1000 years ago. Elegantly and delicately crafted sashimono items (such as chests of drawer or display shelves) were popular with the imperial family and nobles in the former capitals, Kyoto. In tokyo in the Edo period (1603 onwoards), its popularity spread amongst merchants and the common people. From long ago, the natural grain of the wood has worthed seeing for Japanese people, so sashimono gained popularity in Japan.

Note: A technique for making wooden frameworks using protrudent joints was also usded in olden times for making wooden ships. Seawater made nail and metal rust, so this gave rise a construction technique which used only wood. This technique has much in common with sashimono.

Production Process
Joining wood without using nails
The principal feature of sashimono is that no nails are used. Simply put, the artisan makes grooves and sockets in the wood, then puts pieces with protruding (tenons) into the slots to assemble the item. Originally these grooves and protrucding parts are not visible on the outside and inner sections of the item: it is as if the item is from a single block of wood. But there is also a way of joining the wood so that the joints are visible on the outside. Mr. Msasuda says that when he makes something, visible joints are one of the designs he considers, to make you see the various construction methods.
Measuring small gaps, using only touch and feel
If you see what Mr. Masuda does, you would notice that a lot of it involves planing wood. After cutting the wood into the shape of the item he is making, he uses various Japanese planes (Kanna) to shave the surface and chip the works out. The most important thing is to get an exact fit. He mesures each parts, but prefers to adjust them without the mesure. He uses his sense of touch wood to join the pieces together. By relying on touch alone, he can work out gaps of less than 1mm. This it he true skill of the sashimono craftsman.
Although the area inside the slot is only small, can you tell that these are trapezium-shpated rather than suquare? This kind of shape makes it very difficult to pull the joints apart once they are put together.
The photo above shows the artist fitting tow boars together. He joins the wood, feeling it carefully as he inserts one piece into another, adjusting them and then planing down the grooves and protruding parts.
Mr. Masuda has more than 80 planes (kanna, large and small in his workshop. A sashimmono craftsman's tool are indispensable to ensuring a beautiful finish on his creations.

All items are made-to-order.

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