Traditional Japanese Craftsman

Authentic and traditional Japanese joinery construction for residences, tearooms, and guest homes. Makoto was one of the first in the 1970s to introduce and teach traditional Japanese woodwork to the United States. He has devoted his life to this craft with the true spirit of a Shokunin. He is hands-on in each process from original hand sketch design to finest wood selection and construction and also crafts 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