Japanese Version includes detailed information
Updated on January 24, 2016

SANOMAGIC-The World of Sueshiro SANO
SANOMAGIC-The world of Sueshiro SANO


Welcome to SANOMAGICTM Homepage
This homepage introduces Japanese wooden ship builder Sueshiro SANO and his ships. Sueshiro was born as third son of the SANO SHIPYARD which was established more than 200 years ago and has been lasting for eight generations. He has been engaged in the construction of wooden ships since the age of thirteen, and established rare skill and technique for which WOODEN BOAT MAGAZINE of the USA awarded him with the appellation SANO MAGIC. I, Yoshiharu KOBATA, a friend of Sueshiro, hope this homepage be an opportunity for you to understand the beauty of wooden ships, even in these days of FRP ships.

(Yoshiharu KOBATA made this homepage with the agreement of Sueshiro SANO. When you go to subpages in this site, please click the back button of your browser to return to this English page. Otherwise, you will go to the Japanese main page. SANOMAGIC is a company different from the SANO SHIPYARD. This page can be freely linked.)

Biodata of Sueshiro SANO

1958: Sueshiro was born third boy to Ichiro SANO at the SANO SHIPYARD at Botan, Koto-ku, Tokyo.

1971: At the age of thirteen, Sueshiro began to receive training in hull architecture from his father, Ichiro SANO, an eighth generation ship builder at the SANO SHIPYARD who holds the title of Intangible Cultural Treasure of Koto-ku, Tokyo. In the same year, at the age of fourteen, Sueshiro designed and built a wooden dinghy of nine feet (2.7m) by himself.

1973: At the age of fifteen, Sueshiro started designing a wooden ketch. After three years, he completed the mahogany ketch by himself, and launched it. This ketch named the PRETTY ANGEL was introduced in detail by "Wooden Boat Magazine" of the United States.

1980: Sueshiro graduated from the Naval Architecture Department of Kogakuin University of Tokyo.

1984-1990: Sueshiro completed, one after another, wooden yachts of 10 meters ("The SUCCESSOR"), 6.6 meters ("The TRECITTA"), 8 meters ("The SUN-OH-MARU"), and 10.5 meters ("The SEIMARU"). Among them, a 10 meter schooner "The SUCCESSOR" launched in 1984, was again introduced in detail in WOODEN BOAT Magazine and received accolades with the title of SANOMAGIC from the magazine.

1991-1992: In order to learn the actualities of European yachts, Sueshiro worked for ROYAL HUISMAN SHIPYARD in the Netherlands which is celebrated as Number one shipyard in the world in the field of large yachts, and he engaged mainly in the interior furnishing work for high grade yachts. Sueshiro acquired deep knowledge in European furniture and interiors, and proved his skill and sense in wood working. After return to Japan, he broke away from the SANO SHIPYARD and began working in NHK ART Corporation.

1995: Sueshiro left the NHK ART Corporation, and solely established "SANO YACHT BUILDING" which was the predecessor of SANOMAGIC.

1997: Sueshiro manufactured a 3.3m Mahogany Sailing Canoe and exhibited the canoe at the Tokyo Boat Show. The Michinoku Northern Ship Museum opened in July 1999 bought the Sailing Canoe as an exhibit.

1998: He manufactured a 4.3m Mahogany Sailing Canoe and exhibited it at Tokyo Boat Show. The Michinoku Northern Ship Museum again bought the sailing canoe as an exhibit. In order to propagate his skill and knowledge, Sueshiro taught construction of wooden canoes to three young men for four months.

1999: He started the construction of a 9.9m Wooden Scooner using mahogany and teak. It was completed at the end of 2001.

2000: In addition to the scooner, Sueshiro started the construction of a 6.2m Mahogany Motor Boat. At the Tokyo Boat Show of February 10-13, 2000, he exhibited the Pretty Angel which he built 24 years ago.

2001: The Scooner was launched on May, 2001. The Mahogany Motor Boat was completed in Autumn.

2002: Sueshiro exhibited the 6.2 m Mahogany Moter Boat and the 4.3m Sailing Canoe at the European Boat Show held at Dusseldolf in January 19 to 27. On January 2, 2002, Sueshiro started building a 8.8 m Cutter. This ship was completed in summer of 2003.

2003: While continuing the construction of the 8.8 m Cutter, Sueshiro held a canoe manufacturing school from April 12, 2003 to July 27, 2003 at the Museum of Maritime Science. Three earnest trainees took the course, and respectively completed 4.3m Hondulas Mahogany canoes.

2004: 8.8 m Cutter was launched at Tokyo Bay Marina on February 15, 2004. SANOMAGIC has moved to Shinkiba 1-6-12, Koutouku, Tokyo 136-0082, JAPAN on April 2004. TEL/FAX +81-3-5569-6567. A canoe manufacturing school was held again from April 17, 2004 to July 25, 2004 at the Museum of Maritime Science

2005: Sueshiro started rebuilding the SUN-OH-MARU which was built by Sueshiro in 1988. A canoe manufacturing school was held at SANOMAGIC.

2006: Sueshiro started the constraction of the DAY SAILER 21 in parallel with the rebuilding of the SUN-OH-MARU. The 6.2m Mahogany Moter Boat and the 4.3m Sailing Canoe were exhibited at the Tokyo Boat Show 2006.

2007: The DAY SAILER 21 was launched on February 5, 2007, and was exhibited at the Japan International Boat Show 2007 held in Yokohama.
The Reborn SUN-OH-MARU was launched on June 15, 2007. Sueshiro has started building wooden bicycles in order to further improve his shipbuilding technics.

2008: First mahogany bicycle (solid frame, total weight 9.0 kg) was completed on January 2008. Second mahogany bicycle (hollow frame, total weight 8.0kg) was completed on August 2008. The Pretty Angel was revarnished after the lapse of 8 years. Third and Fourth mahogany bicycles were concurrently completed on December 2008. On the Fourth Mahogany bicycle, a hollow mahogany handlebar was installed. The total weight of the third and fourth mahogany bicycle are about 7.7-7.8kg without pedals.

2009: Sueshiro exhibited the Mahogany Bikes No. 1 and No. 3 at Handmade Bicycle Fair 2009 held in Science Museum, Tokyo, during January 16 to 18. SANOMAGIC got the City Bicycle Prize for the Mahogany Bike No. 3 in the Handmade Bicycle Fair 2009. Sueshiro shipped Mahogany Bike No. 4 to a customer in the Netherlands at the end of January 2009. During September 2 to 4, 2009, Sueshiro exhibited Mahogany Bike No. 3 in Eurobike Show 2009 held in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Sueshiro accomplished Mahogany Bike No. 7 on November 25, 2009, and exhibited it in the Cycle Mode International 2009 during December 11 to 13, 2009.

2010: Sueshiro exhibited the Mahogany Bike No. 7 at Handmade Bicycle Fair 2010 in the Science Museum, Tokyo, during January 15 to 17, 2010, and at 2010 TAIPEI CYCLE SHOW during March 17 to 19. Mahogany Bike No. 6 was exhibited at CHINA CYCLE 2010 during April 27 to 29. Mahogany Bike Prototype No. 2 (T2) of a new concept was completed on June 5, 2010. Sueshiro exhibited T2 at Eurobike 2010 on September 1 to 4.

2011: Sueshiro started the making of Mahogany Bike No. 11 from the beginning of January. Mahogany Bike Nos. T2 and 10 was exhibited at Handmade Bicycle Fair 2011 in the Science Museum, Tokyo, during January 22 to 23, 2010. Sueshiro invented an integrated seat post for improving power-assist effects by mahogany frames, and reformed Mahogany Bike No. 7. After the big earthquake in Japan, on March 20, Mahogany Bike No. 11 equipped with the integrated seat post was completed. Mahogany Bike No. 12 was completed on the end of June, and MWR-T1 was completed on the end of July. Mahogany Bike T2 is exhibited in "Power of Making" Exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum. November 4 to 6, 2011, Mahogany Bike No. 7 and Mini-wheel bike MWR-T1 were exhibited in Cycle Mode International 2011 in Tokyo. December 3 to 11, 2011, December 3 to 11, 2011 MWR-T1 was exhibited in 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

2012: Special exhibition "Power of Making" in the British Victoria and Albert Museum was over in January after six months exhibition of Mahogany Bike T2, and T2 came back to SANOMAGIC in February. Sueshiro completed Mahogany Road Bike No. 14 from January to the beginning of March. Late in March, Sueshiro completed a mahogany aero wheel and installed it on Mahogany Mini Wheel Road MWR-T1. In April, Sueshiro began to build various elastically supported mahogany speakers. In May, Mahogany Road Bike No. 15 was completed. In June, the evolution of mahogany speakers was speeded up by a visit of beautiful pianist, Yukie Nishimura, to SANOMAGIC. In September, Mahogany Mini Wheel Road MWR-2 with a new mahogany aero wheel was completed. On November 2 to 4, Sueshiro exhibited T2 and MWR-2 at the Cycle Mode International 2012 held in the Makuhari Messe. Late in December, Mahogany Road Bike No. 16 was completed, and Sueshiro started to build new mahogany road bike "T3" with a 700C mahogany aero wheel.

2013: T3 is 700C road bike, and is equipped with a 700C mahogany aero wheel having cross shaped mahogany hollow spokes. On January 19 to 20, Sueshiro exhibited T3 (although the aero wheel could not be furnished) and Mini Wheel Road MWR-T1 at 2013 Handmade Bicycle Show in the Science Museum in Tokyo. Further, on February 22 to 24, Sueshiro will exhibit MWR-T1 and T3 with the mahogany aero wheel at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2013 in Denver, US. Here is the leaflet of SANOMAGIC Mahogany Bikes in the NAHBS. Mahogany Bike T3, a mahogany speaker, and mahogany miniature piano are exhibited in the Karuizawa New Art Museum during May to September 2013. Mahogany Mini Wheel Bike No.1 (MWR-T1) is exhibited in "The Sekai 1" in Osaka during April 26 to September 1, 2013. Mahogany Mini Wheel Bike No. 3 (MWR-3) was exhibited in the China Cycle 2013, Shanghai during May 6 to 9, 2013. Sueshiro held a Mahogany Concert with Mr. Sato on June 21, 2013 to introduce sweet sounds of SANOMAGIC Mahogany Speakers.

2014: Mahogany Bike T3 was exhibited in The Sekai-Ichi at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation during December 7, 2013 to May 6, 2014. Mini-Wheel Mahogany Bike No. 2 was exhibited in Handmade Bicycle Fair 2014 held at Tokyo Science Museum during January 25 to 26, 2014. Sueshiro held Second Mahogany Concert on May 24, 2014. Sueshiro completed Mahogany Road Bike No. 18 on August. and Mahogany Mini Boat on November. Mahogany Bike T3 was exhibited at Cycle Mode International 2014 in Makuhari Messe.

2015: Mahogany Road Bike T3, Mahogany Mini Road T1, and Mahogany Frame of Mahogany Road Bike No. 19 were exhibited at Handmade Bicycle Fair 2015 held at Tokyo Science Museum during January 24 to 25, 2015. Sueshiro completed Mahogany Road Bike No. 19 on March, No. 20 on July, and No. 21 on November. He also repaired the Sunoumaru (the Cepheus) from January to July. On August 22, Sueshiro held the third Mahogany concert at SANOMAGIC. On September 25, Sueshiro was invited to Japan Night 2015, and introduced Mahogany Bikes and Mahogany Speakers to guests from various countries. On November 6 to 8, Sueshiro exhibited Mahogany Bike T3 at Cycle Mode International 2015.

2016: On January, Sueshiro and SANOMAGIC will be introduced by various television programs. On January 11, Fujitelevision "Smap Smap SP", on January 12, TBS television "Tokoro-san no Nippon no deban", and, on January 24, Fujitelevision "Nihon Isan (Japanese Legacy)". On January 23 to 24, Sueshiro will exhibit Mahogany Bike T3 and Mahogany Mini Road No. 2 at Handmade Bicycle Fair 2016. On April, a theme park "Holland village" will reopen in Nagasaki, Japan, and SANOMAGIC's mahogany speakers will be exhibited and begin to sing in the Glass Museum.


First Handmade Yacht

I (Sueshiro) built the first boat during the summer vacation when I was eleven years old. In order to go fishing in the Tokyo Bay, I designed and made a dinghy using plywoods. Early every morning in the summer vacation, I wrapped my alarm clock in a plastic bag, and started sailing for the Tokyo bay riding on the northern wind of the morning. I fished for sea bass while sailing, and after arrived at an offshore breakwater, I fished for Kurodai until the southern wind of dusk began to blow. My father Ichiro looked forward to my return with harvests of fish. (Sueshiro;January, 1999)


Since the small dinghy could not go out of Tokyo Bay, I wanted to construct a larger yacht which could go to the Izu Islands for fishing. Therefore, I started designing a ketch at the age thirteen, and at the age eighteen, I completed solely a mahogany ketch, the PRETTY ANGEL, of 22 feet. A 22-foot ketch was much smaller than usual in those days, 30 feet was believed to be the smallest size of a ketch. Although I wrote to KAZI magazine of Japan about the accomplishment of the ketch, I was ignored because I was a high school student. Then, I sent photographs of the PRETTY ANGEL to WOODEN BOAT magazine of the USA. Surprisingly, the general editor of WOODEN BOAT, Mr. John Wilson, promptly came to watch the PRETTY ANGEL. First, he asked me "Who is Sueshiro?". When I answered "I am Sueshiro", he said that he had assumed that Sueshiro was a bearded big man. (Sueshiro;January, 1999)

Sueshiro still has the Pretty Angel, and he exhibited at the Tokyo Boat Show of February 10-13, 2000, in order to prove the long life of mahogany ships. Many people said they could not believe that the PRETTY ANGEL had been anchored in Tokyo Bay during 24 years. Even now the Pretty Angel maintains its graceful figure without replacing shell plates between the 24 years.

Schooner the SUCCESSOR

After building the ketch Pretty Angel, I built a schooner, the Successor. In those days, it was said to be impossible to build a schooner of less than 70 feet, so I wanted to challenge this conventional idea. So I persuaded my father (Ichiro SANO) to build a schooner of 33 feet. This schooner named the Successor was also introduced by a feature story in the Wooden Boat magazine.

Royal Huisman Shipyard

After the article was published in Wooden Boat Magazine, various people came to the Sano Shipyard to look at the Successor. Mr. Alan Bennel, who was the captain of the Queen Elizabeth at that time, and Mr. Jacques Yves Cousteau, the first scuba diver in the world, were among in those people. My father boasted about this and said the Sano Shipyard is the best in the world. I was wondering if this could be true, and hoped to go abroad to make sure for myself. Then, I wrote to Mr. John Wilson, the editor of Wooden Boat Magazine, to ask about excellent shipyards in the U.S.A. In his letter, he said there was no shipyard suitable for me in the U.S.A, but he told me about the Royal Huisman Shipyard in Holland, the best shipyard in the world. This was about 15 years ago, and immediately I decided to visit to the Shipyard. Because the Royal Huisman also had an interest in me due to the article in Wooden Boat, my visit was timely.

The Royal Huisman Shipyard was incredibly splended. The interiors of ships were so beautiful, at first, I stood agape at the splendor wondering if I could make things of this beauty. I started as an apprentice to a boatbuilder. After observing for a while, I began to understand that the boatbuilders of Royal Huisman Shipyard had a certain way of manufacturing the furniture including using metal nails, although this method also works, I didn't like it very much and wanted to use a much more sophisticated and difficult technique; the Edo Kumiki technique in which wood was connected like a three-dimensional puzzle without nails in order to prevent rust. However, there was deep consideration in the designing and the surface finishing of the interiors of the Huisman's ships, and I understood that, if comparing two ships, everyone admires the Huisman's ship. Therefore, I decided to learn the design sense of the Huisman Shipyard. If I did not visit the Huisman, I could not make furniture as I do now. 

Sailing Canoes


2003 Canoe Manufacturing School in Museum of Maritime Science

At the request of the Museum of Maritime Science in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Sueshiro SANO taught techniques for manufacturing wooden canoes to three young men in the Museum from April 12 to July 27, 2003. All the content of the school was open to the public during the course.

The three mahogany canoes were finished on July 20, 2003, and on July 27, 2003, a launching ceremony of the canoes was hold in the Museum in the presence of large audience. About 30 people could have trial rides of them after the ceremony.

When you go to subpages in this site, please click the back button of your browser to return to this english main page. Otherwise, you will go to the Japanese main page.

2004 Canoe Manufacturing School in Museum of Maritime Science

At the request of the Museum of Maritime Science in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Sueshiro SANO taught again techniques for manufacturing wooden canoes to three young men in the Museum from April 17 to July 25, 2004. All the content of the school was open to the public during the course.

The three mahogany canoes were finished on July 24, 2004, and on July 25, 2004, a launching ceremony of the canoes was hold in the Museum. To our regret, trial rides by the audience were not allowed because of a strong wind.

When you go to subpages in this site, please click the back button of your browser to return to this english main page. Otherwise, you will go to SANOMAGIC Japanese top page.(2004/8/15)

Wooden Yacht Manufacturing Method


6.2 Meters Mahogany Motor Boat

To commemorate the 2000, Sueshiro started to build a mahogany motor boat of 6.2 meters. This boat is made of genuine Honduras mahogany. This boat will be exhibited at the European Boat Show of 2002. The owner of this motor boat is not decided. If you have any interest, please contact SANOMAGIC.

European Boat Show 2002 in Dusseldorf

European Boat Show 2002 was held in Dusseldorf during January 19-27, 2002. SANOMAGIC exhited the 6.2 meter motor boat and the 4.3 meter sailing canoe in the thirteen booth of the Boat Show. Sueshiro deeply thanks Loyal Huisman Shipyard for their help in this exhibition. Sueshiro was interviewed by many European mass media. SANOMAGIC's mahogany ships attracted public attention by their oriental atmosphere.

Copies of Magazines or Newspapers introducing SANOMAGIC

8.8 Meter Cutter of 2002-2003

After completion of the 6.2 meter motor boat, Sueshiro started to build an 8.8 meter cutter. On January 2, 2002, he cut out a keel from a rare and precious teak, and made an offering of rice, Sake, and salt to the god of the ship. This was the ceremony for starting his work in 2002.

Rebirth of SUN-OH-MARU

The SUN-OH-MARU, which was built by Sueshiro Sano and launched in 1988, had been neglected due to the owner's misfortune and had been left at the Yumenoshima Marina for twelve years. Finally, the SUN-OH-MARU fell to her lot to be auctioned by the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Tokyo bay.

Fortunately, the SUN-OH-MARU was obtained by a person who knows well about Sueshiro SANO, and the owner asked Sueshiro to rebuild the ship.

On March 4, 2005, in the falling snow, the injured SUN-OH-MARU returned to the SANOMAGIC, and the rebirth of the SUN-OH-MARU started.

Day Sailer 21

Day Sailer 21 was ordered by a person who found SANOMAGIC via this home page. This ship aims at relaxing on the sea. Building stated in January 2006, and completed on March 2007. Sueshiro said "I really enjoyed designing this yacht having sailing-oriented characteritics."

Merit of Wooden Ships

In order that a ship runs faster, it is necessary for the hull to smoothly cut sea water and to minimize waving of the water. In order not to wave sea water, the hull must have an outer surface which can make friend with the sea water. However, designing an optimum surface is very difficult even with the newest computer.

In the case for wooden ships, the hull is constructed by bending hard wood strips from the bow to the stern. Therefore, if you try to make an artificial curve, the hard wood strips strongly deny the curve, and will break in two. Inevitably, you should talk out with the wood from the designing stage of the hull, only natural curve which the wood approves can be built. That is, the nature of the wood decides the curve of the hull. When running a hull built by bending very hard woods such as mahogany or teak, sea water smoothly and obediently flows along the curve of the hull, and excess waves do not generate. Such a ship can run lightly and gently. Furthermore, such a wooden hull makes gentle sound when hitting waves. The sound is completely different from that of FRP ships. You can clearly feel it when you sleep in the wooden hull.(January, 1999)

Furniture of SANOMAGIC

SANOMAGIC also distributes wooden furnitures manufactured by Sueshiro using genuine mahogany or teak. All furnitures can be modified according to your requirements. Please contact to Sueshiro.

SANOMAGIC Wooden Bicycle

From autumn 2007, Sueshiro has started building a mahogany bicycle using his shipbuilding technics. He is going to manufacture two types of wooden bicycle. First prototype is a bicycle having a solid mahogany-laminated frame, and second one has a hollow mahogany-laminated frame. He intends to accomplish a wooden road bike lighter than that using a carbon frame, and to improve his shipbuilding technics. The first prototype was completed by the end of 2007.


Sueshiro SANO

TEL/FAX: Japan +81-3-5569-6567
Shinkiba 1-6-12, Koutouku, Tokyo 136-0082, JAPAN
English available

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