On October 13, 2023, the Kyoto Model Forest Association held an open seminar titled “Getting to Know the Kitayama Cedar” in Kita-Ward, Kyoto City.
Twenty-two people participated in the tour. Mr. Matsumoto from the Kyoto Kitayama Maruta Production Cooperative guided the excursion to Nakagawa village to see the mother tree of Kitayama cedar and a group of traditional storage houses of Kitayama logs. Followingly, the group visited the cooperative’s facility, where Mr. Matsumoto gave a lecture on the history of Kitayama cedars. In the afternoon, he performed a skillful traditional pruning demonstration for the audience, and they experienced polishing logs in a traditional way using grains of local sand.
(Left) In front of the mother tree at Nakagawa Hachiman Shrine
(Right) The president of Nakagen Corporation kindly showed the visitors the inside of their warehouse, which stores highly-valued Kitayama logs.
The Kitayama daisugi cedar tree (above) is estimated to be about 500 years old. Many branches grow straight from a single trunk, and they have been used as polished logs.
Lecture on Kitayama cedar by Mr. Matsumoto.
Demonstration of pruning Kitayama cedar. The participants were amazed at the skilled techniques and the height.
(Left) Mr. Sumiyama of the cooperative explains the process used to luster the surface of the Kitayama logs.
(Right) The participants are enthusiastic about working with the smooth surfaces of the Kitayama logs as they emerge.
Comments from the participants, “Today’s seminar was a valuable experience.” “It was interesting to learn about the charms and the history of Kitayama cedar.”