Making Philosophy - Part 3 -

MATERIAL

As a craftsman, I have seen and touched many kinds of wood, and I think one of the reasons is the "beauty of the wood surface" of Kiso-hinoki. Kiso-hinoki's fine and straight wood surface exudes a sense of purity. While it has a pure and dignified atmosphere, its reddish skin color is also a warm color that somehow makes people feel at ease. When I smooth the surface of the wood with a plane that can cut well, I often find that the grain of the wood is so beautiful that I have to hold my breath to admire it. And when the fresh aroma from the cut fills the workshop, it is truly a "moment of supreme bliss" for us craftsmen.

Scent is also delivered

The reason why inori-gumo is wrapped in thin paper and delivered in a box is because we want to deliver the fragrance of Kiso-hinoki as much as possible. The fragrance particles remain in the fibers of the paper and the fragrance is easily retained. For this reason, we do not wrap our products in plastic. If you buy inori-gumo, after opening the box, please put your face a little closer to it and turn the thin paper. The inori-gumo you receive will have been completed within two months at the most. You will be able to enjoy the rich Kiso-hinoki fragrance.

​Beauty and delicacy
 

Even though it is a good material, Kiso-hinoki is difficult to carve and is a wood that tests the skills of the craftsman. One of the difficulties is the delicacy of the wood. If a chisel is inadvertently inserted from the opposite direction (against the grain of the wood), the wood will crack. This is why experience and intuition in reading the grain of the wood are required. However, hardwoods such as zelkova, camphor, cherry, etc. are very tenacious, so it is not necessary to chisel from the opposite direction.

Kiso-Hinoki tests the artisans


The second reason is that only chisels that can cut are allowed to be used. It may sound strange to hear that a chisel must be able to cut soft wood, but softwoods, including Hinoki, are characterized by their strong fiber quality in contrast to the small density of the material as a whole. Therefore, if you do not use a chisel that can cut well, it will look dirty and white. The only way to finish the work neatly is to sharpen a sharp chisel, which is a tough material that does not give any escape route to craftsmen. For this reason, kiso-hinoki works, which are finished without compromise, seem to have beauty as well as power that has passed through difficulties.

Prayer Cloud is made from such Kiso Hinoki.
For more information, click on the article below.
Making Philosophy - 2 -

DESIGN

Making Philosophy - 3 -

CHISELS

The reason why I use Kiso-Hinoki for inori-gumo is because it is the most ancient and familiar wood to Japanese people. It is well known that "Hinoki" is mentioned in many Ancient writings. And the Kiso-Hinoki is used for the shrine buildings at Ise Shrine. The reason why Kiso-Hinoki is chosen as the material is because it has the history to be used as a Shinto family alter material. But why did the people of the past decide to use Kiso Hinoki for shrine buildings or for Shinto rituals? 
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From the Sacred Forest

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