Artificial forests consist of relatively fast-growing coniferous trees such as cedar, cypress, larch, red pine, black pine, Yezo spruce, and Todomatsu, which are suitable for construction purposes. These forests are created by human hands for the production of timber resources. Planting was actively carried out from the post-World War II reconstruction period to the period of high economic growth, as they were expected to have economic value.

Abandoned ‘artificial forests’ after planting.

Currently, although many of these mature artificial forests have become usable as timber, the increase in imports of foreign timber and the decline in profitability of forestry have resulted in domestic timber supply accounting for only about 30% of the total wood demand in the country. As a result of the stagnation in forestry production activities, numerous neglected and overgrown forests (artificial forests) are now commonly seen.

Abandoned 'artificial forests' after planting.

The Importance of Consuming Wood While Coexisting Harmoniously

Neglected forests, where sunlight does not reach the ground and remains dim, the ground floor has little to no grass growing, and the nutritionally deprived trees are too slender and weak to be used as building materials or for making tools. Such forests become inhospitable for wildlife, and the hardened soil can cause floods and landslides during heavy rains, leading to various problems. Artificial forests require proper management, including thinning out unnecessary trees. However, if there is no demand for timber as a mountain and forest resource, lumberjacks cannot sustainably cut trees. It is beneficial for humans, forests, and nature to watch over the long term and coexist skillfully while consuming wood. Therefore, it is essential to create ‘new demands for forest resources.’ In this experience, we will observe the current state of artificial forests, understand the process of cutting trees to make products and think about the rich natural environment that healthy trees and forests provide us.

Woodworking experience using local wood.

In the past, when there was no electricity or gas, people lived by gathering firewood in the forests and making charcoal to start fires. Especially those living near satoyama (village forests) effectively utilized the nearby forests as a source of energy. Satoyama forests thrived on this cyclical relationship between the forest and people, where resources were sustainably used and replenished. After understanding that cutting trees in artificial forests and planting new ones is not necessarily bad, but rather part of a sustainable cycle that connects to the future, we encourage trying out crafting using wood from the local Yaotsu town. Let’s start by incorporating wood into our lives. Feel the comfort of having wood close by and experience the importance of forest resources. This woodworking exercise is rich with experience. You’re able to use tools you normally wouldn’t experience, learn about the properties of wood, and take home a creation crafted by your own hands. We hope you’ll discover the warmth that comes from replacing everyday items with wood.”

【Experience 01】’Woodworking Experience Making a Cutting Board Using Yaotsu Wood’ by Rat Design Shop.

This is an experience to learn about the state of forestry in Japan at a forestry site in Yaotsu and to interact with healthy trees that have grown under good conditions.

In this program, you can experience ‘Making a Cutting Board Using Yaotsu Town’s Wood,’ conducted by Rat Design Shop, which has a studio in Yaotsu Town. The experience takes place in a café-woodworking workshop located in Yaotsu Town’s Honmachi shopping district. Under the guidance of Sam Ratnar from America the head of the workshop, you will learn how to handle tools and maintain wood. You will create a unique cutting board, incorporating your name or illustrations, using timber from Yaotsu Town – a one-of-a-kind creation

Experience details

【Experience 02】Woodworking Experience Kit Using Yaotsu Wood project by students of Nagoya Zokei University.

Only Japanese version available

To Japanese page

【体験02】名古屋造形大学 学生さんによる「八百津の木を使った木工体験キット」企画



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