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Johnsbury Athenaeum 1171 Main St. St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 Phone: 802-748-8291, ext. 306 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.stjathenaeum.org Date: March 27, 2013
ST. JOHNSBURY ATHENAEUM HOSTS LECTURE ON JAPANESE BOATBUILDING St. Johnsbury, VT – When people think about Japan, they usually have in their minds images of manga and anime, busy urban centers, and an economy based on innovations in electronics. Most people do not know that there is also a “second Japan” wherein lies a rich history of traditional arts and crafts, many of which are fast disappearing. The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum’s Arts and Culture Series, in partnership with the Vermont Humanities Council Speaker Series is pleased to welcome Douglas Brooks for his lecture titled, “An Apprentice Boat Builder in Japan” on Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Douglas Brooks has apprenticed with five different boatbuilders in Japan since 1996. In this slide talk he will share his experiences with traditional crafts drawn from over a dozen trips to Japan since 1990. Brooks will also talk about the nature of craft education in Japan; an ethic that is largely at odds with our notions of teaching in the West. The apprentice system produced craftspeople with incomparable skills, yet it required an intense devotion and seriousness from participants. Brooks has experienced first-hand what it is like to learn when the apprentice is forbidden from speaking. At the core of this process is the belief that one learns by observation and perseverance. Douglas Brooks is a boatbuilder, writer and researcher. He specializes in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. He worked in the Small Boat Shop at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco from 1985-1990 and has since built boats at
museums in Japan and across the United States. He teaches classes in boat building and regularly publishes articles on his research. In addition to building replicas of North American boats, Douglas has been researching traditional Japanese boat building since 1990, focusing on the techniques and design secrets of the craft. These techniques have been passed from master to apprentice with almost no written record. He has studied with five boatbuilders in Japan building six types of traditional boats. His first book The Tub Boats of Sado Island: A Japanese Craftsman’s Methods was published in Japan in 2003 and was later honored by the Japanese Ministry of Culture. His second book, Sabani; Building The Traditional Okinawan Fishing Boat was published by the Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo, Japan, 2011. He is currently working on his third book, due to be published later this year. Brooks attended the Williams Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime History in 1980, and he is a 1982 graduate of Trinity College (B.A. Philosophy) and a 2002 graduate of the Middlebury College Language School (Japanese). He lives in Vergennes, Vermont. To see photos of his boats and learn more about his research on traditional Japanese boatbuilding, please visit www.douglasbrooksboatbuilding.com. The Arts and Culture Series at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum invites area professionals to share their experiences with the community. The lectures are open to the public and admission is by donation. The next lecture, scheduled for May 23, welcomes award-winning photographer Diana Mara Henry for her lecture “The Women’s Rights Movement—A Photographic Journey.” For additional information and the 2013 schedule of the Arts & Culture Series, please contact the Athenaeum at 802-748-8291 or visit the website www.stjathenaeum.org.