As the Wall Street Journal put it in 1991, what Japan is to electronics and Germany is to automobiles, the United States is to home construction: No other country can match our combination of efficiency and quality. My recent experience framing a house at Japan's first international home show, Kobe Interhome '96, confirms this observation. Japan has a long way to go to match our construction techniques. Increasing interest in learning about our way of building is giving some U.S. contractors an opportunity to participate in spreading our knowledge, products, and skills worldwide. For some, this can mean earning an all-expense-paid trip to Japan, or possibly some other country, just by doing what they do every day — framing. Birth of stick framing. America's stick-framing tradition started