Makoto immigrated to the United States in the 1970s, inspired to introduce the traditional technique of Japanese joinery and use of hand tools to the United States. He has since taught and influenced many woodworkers and continues to devote his life to this craft with the true spirit of a Shokunin. He is hands-on in each process from original hand sketch design, caring for finest wood selection and also hand constructs traditional tansu and custom furniture pieces.
The process is never hurried for Makoto Imai. He personally selects the trees he will use and cares for the wood until it becomes part of a structure. Only hand tools are employed. “I listen to the wood. Power tools are fast and noisy, you lose the pleasure of contact with the wood.”
“Tradition is very deep and there are always new levels to strive for. My tradition occupies my thoughts constantly.”
“Try not to be just good technically, but more in the heart. The heart knows everything.”
– Makoto Imai