Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 36

I have been preparing a slide show for a presentation  at U3A , University of the 3rd Age, for Wendy who is program co-ordinator or secretary or something equally energetic. It is titled The Appeal of Japan and as I was browsing my blog and photos from 2008, I realised  (again) that  I had never finished my 60 Days of Celebration.
This was  a daily blog of an item, place, event, icon that appealed to me about Japan. The 60 was to celebrate my 60th birthday. But as I came home suddenly in October I stopped at day 35.
So I thought I might do the last 25 over the next month or so.

WOOD
Japan has huge plantations of cedar ( cryptomeria or sugi ) but with a decline in use of wood as a building material, demand fell so did prices so many workers in the forestry area moved away. Nearly all of the wood used in Japan is imported despite huge areas of forest covering 67% of Japan.

detail of carving on a Shoji screen in hotel room

fine detail on Inn gate

Huge gate posts at Meiji Shrine
An increasing demand by craft men to maintain past traditions of woodwork has meant an upsurge in interest in the wood and forests are being used again even for large pieces of furniture. 
Maybe not as big as these doors though!!
At a studio workshop  near Takayama called Oak Village Tadashi Inamoto works and developed some wonderful furniture all from two HUGE Zelkova tree that needed to be removed from the site of an old Sake brewery. Their work was inspired by a 'Living national Treasure Tatsuaki Kuroda, a reclusive worker but whose style influenced many. 
Kuroda's bench seat
There is nothing like the feel of your feet moving over smooth cool wooden floors !

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