Japan is geopolitically blessed with natural grace such as beautiful four seasons, abundant forest, fruitful earth and fresh water. And it seems that it has induced the deep trust between nature and human and has cultivated the Japanese unique culture which harmonizes nature with human sensibility.
The origin of handmade technology in Japan dates back to the Jomon period more than 10,000 years ago. The Jomon potteries excavated were made by utilizing the technologies of kneading clay with water and sintering by fire, and some of them were discovered to have the lacquer coatings on their surfaces extracted from plants.
The conventional technology would be created by our predecessors who had the sophisticated sensitivity and the excellent imagination cultivated with the careful observation of nature behavior. The technology was handed down to today through various historical changes in response to the diverse values of the individual era. It can be considered that the Japanese conventional technology is the nature friendly cultural asset co-created by nature and human through the long-term environmental changes more than 10000 years.
Future-applied conventional technology is the most reliable technology study to develop the future and to hand over the advanced value to the next generation.In this study, we scrutinized the related theme studied by Future-Applied Conventional Technology Center in Kyoto Institute of Technology, in order to extract the engineering element inherent in the conventional technologies and classify into common elements and specific elements for each technology. From the view point of nature and human relation, engineering elements were extracted comprehensively about the main materials, the auxiliary materials, the human sensibility, the hand tools and the human skills. The main materials and the auxiliary materials were classified into “wood, fire, earth, metal, water” according to the old Eastern thought “the five elements theory” which constitute nature, and animal-derived materials in addition. The human sensibility elements were extracted about the material evaluation, the dynamic process observation and the finished degree evaluation and classified into five senses “visual, auditory, tactile, taste, smell”, and the other sense such as fitness feeling with clothes or accessories. The hand tools were listed such as brush, trowel, spatula, scissors and hammer with the features of usage. The human skills were extracted about each material manipulating process comprehensively and classified into common elements and specific elements, by considering the features respectively.
With applying this study as a guideline for the innovation of the future technology harmonized with nature and human, it would be expected to promote variety of researches of the conventional technology and to develop the future technology for the modern cutting-edge field, by feeling the importance of the engineering elements and their relationship study inherent in the conventional technology.