japanese hinoki forests are sustainabily managed and offer wood for ofuro of the highest quality

natural heaven


hinoki forest Japan is indeed a crowded country, with 90% of its 130mil. population localized on the pacific coast, but is also blessed with abundance of greenery as 68% of its territory is inhabited and covered by trees. Expecially the central regions of Honshu and Kyushu islands, with elevations up to 2000 to 2500m of height, are a heaven of over 2.5 million hectares of evergreen trees. The japanese culture developed thru the centuries in symbiosis with nature, respecting this unique environment. After WW II, over 1 million trees of new forest have been planted and a strict legislation regulates today the sustainable exploitation of this precious natural heritage.


japanese tub When we talk about Japanese dwellings and lifestyle, its association with the culture of wood is almost automatic. Still today most of private homes are built with a wood post-beam structure. Wood is used to manufacture cooking utensils, shoes, children`s toys. And of course, bathstubs. The remarkably straight SUGI might be best choice for buildings, as the SAKURA (cherry) is for producing objects or the MATSU (pine) is for panels and doors. But wood bathtubs are only made in HINOKI, the wood of the 1300 years old Horyuji Temple in Nara, the wood chosen by the emperors...


japanese carpenter As hinoki trees suffer polluted environments, they grow mainly in "virgin" areas, where the air and water are pure. Aomori and Ishikawa in the north, Gifu prefecture, the Kiso Valley in the Chubu district and the Kochi prefecture in Shikoku are the regions with largest hinoki forests. This "purity" reflects in the wood's appearance : light-colored, has a rich but compact straight grain. A natural clear resin permeates homogeneously the pores thus creating a natural protection against insects and rot. When cut or scrubbed, hinoki wood emanates a pleasing lemon scent for which it is famous.

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bni-logo.jpg Kobe Kazamidori chapter
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