707.874.3361 info@kiarts.com

Japanese Designer/Builder


Hiroshi Sakaguchi is a traditionally trained carpenter or “daiku” from Japan. Sakaguchi-san’s understanding of wood comes not just from over forty-five years of experience, but from a family inheritance of woodworking that goes back generations. In Japan, traditional carpentry is a high art that takes very long and rigorous training.  From the age of 15, Hiroshi Sakaguchi began an apprenticeship in the ancient and very complex art of Japanese joinery, a carpentry system that connects wood by intricate joints rather than screws or nails.  Traditionally in Japan, carpenters were both the architect and builder having to master  traditional designs passed down through the centuries as well as woodworking skills. With an extensive knowledge of Japanese architectural design and experience in the construction of traditional houses and tea houses in Japan, Sakaguchi-san brought his skills to the United States and established a woodworking business, Ki Arts, in Northern California. Since there are not so many artisans in the United States to make specialized architectural components such as shoji and fusuma doors as found in Japan, he has diversified his skills. He even uses his joinery techniques to make custom-style Japanese furniture like low tea tables and tansu for the Japanese rooms he has constructed and wooden soaking tubs for Japanese-style bathing rooms. The work of Japanese master carpenter, Hiroshi Sakaguchi, can be seen in Japan, the United States, Canada, and Europe.  His Japanese designer/builder skills have been featured in books, magazines, on TV, and in film.

Publications and Media


2008: Kendra Langeteig. The New Asian Home. Gibbs Smith, UT.

2003: Bathrooms. Pottery Barn Series. Oxmoor House, CA.

2003: Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto. The Japanese Bath. Gibbs Smith, UT.

2001: Frank Cabot. A Greater Perfection. Horus Press, NY.

1988: James Van Arsdale. Shoji. Kodansha International, NY.


Sept/Oct 2012: Rosann Allenbaugh.”Sukiya Interiors–Plaster Developments.” Sukiya Living, 26-29.

June 2005: Carl Bunch. “Haven in the Hills,” Inspired House, 31-37.

January 2000: Daniel Fortin.”Kan Son Tei.” La Revue Quebecoise du Jardinage, 45-48.

November 1996: Hatsy Shields. “Taking the Long View.” House Beautiful,194-203, 238.

August 1994: “Create a Gateway.” Better Homes and Gardens, 98.


June 12, 2000: “The Californian” (Salinas, CA)

May 5, 1999: “The San Francisco Chronicle” (San Francisco, CA)

TV and Film

2010: Mangusta Productions, P.P. & Tao Ruspoli, D.D. Being in the World <http://beingintheworldmovie.com/> Documentary film.

2002: “Show #401.” Modern Masters Series. Home and Garden cable channel. Television.

March 23, 2000: “Nightly News.” KRON TV, San Francisco, CA. Television.