Mini-Kez Is Back !

by Karl Bareis

Soon after a nationwide lock-down was announced in March 2020, our non-profit organization began to mobilize a campaign to teach on-line classes. Our organization has continued to teach more on-line classes throughout the three years since Covid-19 disrupted our public gatherings. Now as our focus turns to the next big National event at the end of September 2023, we also want to report on an international kez movement which has grown and spread. “Mini-kez” is a term to describe the informal gatherings which have taken on momentum and help foster the Kezurou-kai spirit of sharing.

Mr. Kamijo supervising the wide plane demonstration.

Mr. Kamijo supervising the wide plane demonstration

Nothing communicates the Kezurou-kai movement quite like these spontaneous local gatherings. In Japan, the same type of local movements are happening, where the Japan National Kezurou-Kai meets in different prefectures each year. When the local organizing committees have finished putting on an event, they invariably continue to gather and provide space for local people to learn the skills involved in thin-shaving. In Japan, teams come to the National event wearing the colors of their region, and help their team compete against other regional teams. We’re not quite at a place where regions send teams to compete but we’re hoping to foster local gatherings and report about them on our website.

Mini KEZ Gatherings

Kingston, New York

Thin shaving at Mini-Kez in Kingston, NY

Thin shaving at Mini-Kez in Kingston, NY

The focus is primarily on monthly gatherings that allow woodworkers and craftspeople the chance to meet and use their planes with others. Andrew Hunter said “My personal focus is Japanese tools, but we don’t care what kind of plane they bring, we’re interested in fostering the love and care for hand tools and sharing this enjoyment with others.”

Denver, Colorado

Kyle Kwiatkowski and Tak Kida have begun a similar monthly gathering focused on fostering a local kez movement in Colorado.

We will be sharing news and information on this expanding network of local gatherings regularly on our website. If you have a similar informal gathering why not let us know! You can contact us by email here.