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  • Building a traditional Japanese boat

    Photo of seven people in bright blue happi coats in a long, low Japanese riverboat on a pond.

    Japan House offered a Japanese boatbuilding apprenticeship class this spring, giving 18 students the opportunity to work with Douglas Brooks, a traditional boatbuilder specializing in Japanese boats. They built a 21-foot Japanese riverboat called a honryousen, which means “typical fishing boat,” and launched the craft on the Japan House pond.

    Photo by Fred Zwicky


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  • Editor’s notes: The boat that the students built will be for sale and the proceeds will support Japan House programming. Anyone interested in the boat can contact Japan House at More information about Douglas Brooks is available online.

    The Japan House boatbuilding class was supported by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional contributions from Japan House.