The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania


2024 Japan Lecture Series – Ways of Learning: An Apprentice Boatbuilder in Japan

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Society for Contemporary Craft, 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201


Registration is closed

Japan’s exceptional history of traditional arts and crafts is gaining recognition and creating a more nuanced global view of the country beyond technology and pop culture. Douglas Brooks, a boatbuilder, writer, and researcher who specializes in the construction of traditional Japanese wooden boats for museums and private clients, has visited all forty-seven prefectures in Japan and has apprenticed with nine boat builders since 1996, building over a dozen types of traditional wooden boats. In his talk, he will address the nature of craft education in Japan, an ethic that is largely at odds with our notions of teaching in the West.

Join the JASP on April 18, 2024 for a lecture about the apprenticeship process in Japanese traditional crafts. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.

Douglas Brooks is a boatbuilder, writer and researcher who specializes in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. He worked in the Small Boat Shop at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco from 1985-1990 and has since built boats at museums in Japan and across the United States.

He teaches classes in boat building and has written regularly for magazines like WoodenBoat (USA), Classic Boat (UK), and KAZI (Japan). Brooks attended the Williams Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime History, and he is a 1982 graduate of Trinity College and a 2002 graduate of the Middlebury College Language School.

Visit his website to see photos of his boats and learn more about his research.

Japan Lecture Series Sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

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