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Japanese Bamboo Fences

August 10, 2009
Bamboo has been used in fence building for hundreds of years. In Japan and throughout Asia bamboo has been and still is the primary choice of material for fences.

Japanese bamboo fences are the most beautiful fences I have ever seen. The round bamboo poles with knodes every 8″ to 12″ gives a natural yet formal look that cannot be matched.

Here are someof the Japanase bamboo fences that have been built under Dave Flanagans supervision.

  • Kenninji bamboo fence


    Kenninji Bamboo Fence

The kenninji-gaki is a classic screening Japanese bamboo fence. It’s characteristic look is the vertical strips of bamboo with multiple horizontal half round bamboo rails for support. This style can come either single or double sided, cappeuji-gaki Style Fenced or uncapped. Traditional black ties are used for aesthetics.


  • Kinkakuji bamboo fence

    Bamboo Fence at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

    Bamboo Fence at Brooklyn Botanical Garden

This style is a low-lying fence that makes a great walkway companion or crowd controller. Characterized by low vertical poles in a single row that are topped by two or more half round caps. For taller versions, two pairs of horizontal poles will be used to support the structure. Picture to the right, this fence was installed in the last week of April, 2000, at the Japanese Garden of Brooklyn Botanical Garden. This is a traditional Japanese Kinkakuji-gaki with cedar posts and poly lines fused to keep the kids from untying the knots. This garden was installed in 1914 and is being restored for the first time


  • Koetsu Bamboo Fence

    Koetsu bamboo fence on stone wall

    Koetsu bamboo fence on stone wall

The elegant Koetsu-gaki lends itself particularly well to curved fences. The curves can be toward the ground as well as horizontal. The cap is split and reconstituted in the round.



  • Misu Bamboo Fence

    Misu bamboo fence

    Misu bamboo fence

The Misu-gaki style bamboo fence is defined by the bold vertical support poles that are attached to both sides of the fence. The screening aspect is created with horizontal poles that are fixed in a groove on either side of the fence panel.


  • Otsu Bamboo Fence

    Otsu Bamboo Fence

    Otsu Bamboo Fence

This woven variety has many variations. Shown here is the uncapped exagerated system excellent for air conditioning condenser enclosures.



  • Rioanji Bamboo Fence 

    Rioanji Bamboo Fence

    Rioanji Bamboo Fence

Typically the Rioanji-Gaki is a low lying fence. Horizontal bamboo slats are held in place by the top and the bottom bamboo rails.




  • Teppo Bamboo Fence

    Teppo Bamboo Fence

    Teppo bamboo fence

Translated, this is a “rifle barrel fence”. Pickets are grouped by count (say three, four, or five pickets per group), and groupings are set on alternating sides.



  • Tiamatsu Bamboo Twig Fence

    Tiamatsu bamboo twig fence by Toshio Abiko

    Tiamatsu bamboo twig fence by Toshio Abiko

This tea house installation in Flagstaff Arizona shows a Tiamatsu bamboo twig fence made by Toshio Abiko.





  • Yotesume Bamboo Fence

    Yotesume bamboo fence

    Yotesume bamboo fence

The Yotesume-gaki, with it’s many variations, is the most popular and least expensive Japanese garden fence. The pickets alternate on either side of the rail creating spaces that change in appearance with the view angle.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 2:38 pm

    I have always wondered about bamboo fence, I wish it was more readily available in the USA.

  2. Alan Walker permalink
    February 21, 2010 2:13 pm

    Would you please show and discuss the knots and materials used in making Japanese style bamboo fencing. There are plenty of lovely photos of the finished products, but precious little is shared about how to do it.
    I would like to try my hand at making fencing like this, but I suspect a course in knot tying is a prerequisite. Please take some of the mystery out of it!
    Thank you in advance.
    Alan Walker

    • tonkinbamboo permalink*
      February 22, 2010 12:19 pm

      Hi Alan.

      That’s a great idea, but it might be difficult to accurately illustrate the knots as well as the entire process here. If you plan on building your own fence, we highly recommend “Building Bamboo Fences” by Isao Yoshikawa. It has fantastic illustrations, clearly demonstrating knots and other techniques.

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