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Make a Japanese Plane with Suikoushya Carpentry Company

Japanese Tools Australia is proud to announce that we will be hosting Japanese woodworking classes taught by Takami Kawai and Dylan Iwakuni of the Suikoushya International Craft School. We are excited to partner with the Maleny Wood Expo to be able to offer this amazing workshop in the unique and exciting atmosphere of one of our favourite events on Australia's woodworking calendar.

When: Sat May 4, Sun May 5, Mon May 6 (public holiday) - 10am to 5pm

Cost: $870 (position securable with $200 deposit)

Includes: Chisel and plane blade (read below), all materials, lunch each day, entry to Maleny Wood Expo

Course Details


In this course students will be given the necessary knowledge to properly set up, tune and maintain the core tools of a Japanese craftsperson's toolkit, with a focus on correct sharpening technique. They will then be guided through the process of making their own 70mm Japanese smoothing plane.


The first day of the course begins with an overview of Takami-san's toolkit, including the core working tools that are used at every stage of the construction of Suikoushya's traditional timber houses. Students are then provided their very own chisel and master-crafted 70mm blue paper steel (aogami) plane blade by master smith Yamamoto-san.

The second two days of the course are spent learning about the intricacies of Japanese plane construction, marking out of students' dais (plane bodies) and the construction of the plane block. Students will complete the course with their own 70mm plane to take home, ready to be put to work and take pride of place amongst their most-used tools.

About the Teachers


Takami Kawai is a traditional Japanese carpenter and registered architect with over 17 years of experience in sustainable design and construction. Having graduated from Kagoshima University as a fully qualified architect, Takami-san also began to train as a carpenter while working on traditional thatched-roofed houses in Kyoto's Miyama village.

Takami san prides himself in creating living spaces focused on remaining in harmony with nature, and established Suikoushya as a design and construction firm. Suikoushya uses authentic traditional Japanese carpentry techniques, and specialises in the building and renovating of traditionally framed wooden houses and other culturally significant structures.

Through his passion for the techniques required to craft these elegant and specialised buildings, Takami san has also founded Suikoushya International Craft School. The Craft School hosts international students in Kyoto in both month-long and short-format courses to provide and share knowledge of traditional Japanese carpentry tools, their proper preparation and correct use. For such specialist courses to be taught regularly in English in Japan is hugely significant for the sharing of this special knowledge at an international scale.

Takami is ably supported by carpenter Dylan Iwakuni. As well as being a trained and accomplished carpenter in his own right, Dylan has been instrumental in documenting and explaining Suikoushya's craftsmanship for the benefit of woodworkers the world over.

Takami is a Japanese master craftsperson working in industry in Kyoto, and provides instruction in Japanese. Dylan's native command of English and Japanese allows him translate all instructions and explanations for English speaking students. Suikoushya classes go beyond pure technical training to give students the opportunity to work in and around Japanese language and culture. We know that once having experienced a three-day taste, students will be planning to enrol on Suikoushya's longer-form courses in Kyoto. For more information on those, click here.