Antique Japanese Carpenter Reel, Sumi Tsubo, Ink Line. 8.25 x 3.5 inches, 21 x 9 cm. It is rare to see sumi tsubo (Japanese carpenter's reel or inkline used for layout) fully intact with all its parts, including line and original stick pin, like this one. The Japanese word for tools is Dogu, which was originally the word for an itinerant monk's belongings. It alludes to the spiritual value which craftsmen put on their tools. Japanese antique carpenter tools are now artifacts with history and beauty and lots of personality, and of course now make great decorative objects. In the West, there were no carpentry tools in which the ink well, marking thread, winding wheel, and stickpin were united into one piece. This tool played a pivotal role in the development of Japanese architecture. They are beautiful hand carved sculpture and works of art in their own right. From the collection of Irwin Hersey, renowned author on Asian and primitive art, and publisher of the Primitive Art Newsletter in the 1970s. Irwin Hersey was an advisor to museums and prominent collectors, and vetted pieces for many of the international tribal art fairs and Asian art fairs.