Kasumi-Gumi Shoji

In March of 2014 I purchased Des King’s book, “Shoji and Kumiko Design, Book 1, The Basics”. In that volume, there are three different shoji screens and a small number of kumiko arrangements that you can follow the plans and build yourself. I built the first screen that same year and played around with the asa-no-ha kumiko pattern as well. As life would have it, I got sidetracked on this and that and only now have I come back to this great how-to manual.

Which I left off at Shoji #2, or Kasumi-Gumi Shoji. For this example I’ll be building both screens as they are mirror images of each other. According to Des, Kasumi means mist and so there several different lengths of kumiko that represent mist in a way that only several small pieces of wood can. This shoji screen also incorporates a hip board. I’m kind of excited about that part as down the road I’m interested in integrating live edge hip boards to contrast with the somewhat strict structure of the shoji screens.

I’m give Monterey Pine a try this time-they actually sell it at the local big box store and it’s very nice wood and certainly less expensive than Port Orford Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. I’ll learn quickly if it’s adequate for the task at hand. For the hip boards I’m using Black Walnut from a tree I milled and dried myself and that will contrast nicely with the lightness of the pine.

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4 thoughts on “Kasumi-Gumi Shoji

  1. Excellent, I’m interested to follow along. I just finished a shoji and will be posting it up on my own blog this week and may be building one with a hip board soon.

    • That’s great, Brian. I’ll be sure to check out your project. I’m still debating on whether to emulate your thicknessing jig. That was an impressive project and my experience w/Japanese planes is limited. I’ve had limited success with using my jointer plane and am considering adhering two hardwood pieces to the bottom of it to get all the pieces to the desired thickness.

  2. Thank you! Glad you found it to be of use. The most critical part of that whole assembly is actually the track. I find I can work to a guage line just as well if not better than relying entirely upon the shoes on the sole to maintain exact thickness of the kumiko. The trick is to plane three kumiko at a time so that you don’t need to balance the plane on a single kumiko.

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