“I remember watching Makoto sharpening tools. Then he’d go to work, and I would marvel at where he ended up. It was magic to me. And I said, “This is what I want to do.” – In Menlo Interview with Mike Laine

“Around 1975 I saw a demonstration by Makoto Imai, a Japanese daiku (carpenter). I was so engrossed with that he could do with simple tools. He’d cut one piece with these incredible sharp tools and saws, then pass it around while he made another piece. Then he’d squeak together the two pieces. It was so impressive and accurate.” – SF Gate Interview with Jay Van Arsdale

“I was first introduced to my teacher Makoto Imai by my brother-in-law Masao Want in 1978 when I was 24 years old. Makoto is a tea house carpenter in Kyoto. When he moved to the Bay Area in 1977 he was one of the first to introduce the Japanese style of carpentry to America. At this time I had already explored several occupations but had not found any work that deeply satisfied me. I was interested in woodworking but knew nothing about Japanese carpentry. Upon meeting Makoto I was fascinated by his passion. His level of skill, concentration and connection to his work and the beauty of the outcome inspired me deeply. I was also drawn to the physicality of the work, perhaps the primal experience of tools, wood and muscle merging.” – EcoNest Interview with Dale Brotherton