This study investigates the structural performance of interior, exterior and corner traditional timber joints found in a traditional temple in Japan subjected to bi-axial bending. A total of 36 half-scale specimens were fabricated and tested under both uni-axial and bi-axial cyclic bending for comparison of their structural behaviour. The results show that the corner joints exhibit lower rotational stiffness than the interior and exterior joints. Further, connections subjected to only uni-axial moments exhibit better performance with regard to moment resistance, energy dissipation and stiffness degradation as compared with those subjected to bi-axial moments. Hence, this study suggests that if the timber joints are subjected to bi-axial bending, this effect on timber joints should be considered during the design and evaluation process in the future.