DAI MAKERS ARCHIVES
Mr. Inomoto's shop is in Sanjo, Niigata prefecture.
Inomoto-san grew up in a dai making family has
been a working professional dai-ya since he was 15
years old, his entire adult life.
As a young man working in his fathers shop he said
that the competition to get contracts for making dai
was very stiff. In those times because the foundries
were so busy there were over 300 dai-ya in the
All of the dai-ya in his fathers shop, he said, had to
be very fast and accurate to keep their prices down
so they could compete with the other dai shops.
I watched him measure, cut and finish a white oak
dai in 25 minutes. He claims is it a 2 hour process,
but in any case he is a fury of a worker. The photo to
the right shows one of his drying rooms complexes.
Inomoto-san has in stock about 30,000 blocks, or 10
years worth of oak blocks drying in sequences.
Inomoto-san says he air dries his wood 6 years
before making it up into dai.
Front of Usui