Cormorant Fishing Boats Book by Douglas Brooks (Japanese) – Free Download

A couple days ago, a new publication by the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties was posted on their Tobuken website.


Building the Naragara River Ubune with Boatbuilder Nasu Seiichi

The publication is compilation of the work by boatbuilder Douglas Brooks in Gifu, Japan, in 2017, working with 85-year old boat builder Mr. Seiichi Nasu, on the construction of a cormorant fishing boat. The boats are called Ukaibune or Ubune, the latter being a the local term and simply meaning cormorant boat.

Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks.

The book is in Japanese, but contains Mr. Brooks’s writings about the project, as well as a section by Mr. Masashi Kutsuwa on riverboat culture. For those interested in the tools used in the boatbuilding process, there is a huge section in the back with photos and scale line drawings of each of the tools used.

Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks.

Only 500 copies of the book are being printed and provided to libraries and research institutions, and none are available for sale to the general public. However, a pdf version is available for download, free of charge, and was recently posted on the Tobunken website:…/wp-con…/uploads/ubune2020-1.pdf

Also, Douglas Brooks has also completed a manuscript for his own english language book, which will be printed and available for purchase. This will be available, hopefully, in early 2021. Ω

1 thought on “Cormorant Fishing Boats Book by Douglas Brooks (Japanese) – Free Download

  1. Pingback: Interview with a Japanese Wooden Boatbuilder | Wasen Mokei 和船模型

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