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Learn about boatbuilding at Japan House

This semester, Japan House has invited Douglas Brooks, who specializes in Japanese boat building, to be an artist-in-residence. Through the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather Fund (through the National Endowment of the Arts), and contributions from Japan House, Brooks is leading a boatbuilding apprenticeship as a part of ARTJ 391: Independent Study in Japanese Aesthetics. After an initial online portion, Brooks will utilize his week-long residency to lead students through the hands-on woodworking project. Brooks and Japan House education associate Diana Lao collaborated to develop the unique course, and students from a wide range of majors are participating. 

The public will have an opportunity to learn about this specialized art through three lectures that will be presented at the end of March:

Sunday, March 27th at 1:30 p.m.: Ways of Learning: An Apprentice Boatbuilder in Japan

Monday, March 28th at 6 p.m.: River Boats in Japan: History and Culture of Japanese Apprenticeships

Tuesday, March 29th at 6 p.m.: Japanese Boatbuilding: Woodworking Tools and Techniques

Tickets are $5 for the general public, and free for students and Tomonokai members. 

Brooks’ residency will culminate with the Japan House Spring Open House on April 2nd, where he will present the final project and launch the boat. After the launch, the boat will be available for purchase, with proceeds support Japan House programming. If you are interested in purchasing, contact

Top photo provided by Japan House.

Staff writer

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