Kitayama Forestry Products

Kyoto’s Kitayama Foresty tradition produces several dozen varieties of wood that are most prized in traditional Japanese architecture. Contemporary architects, designers and sculptors also use these Kitayama Forestry products in their creations.

Tennen (天然) The surface textures of the wood are largely naturally occurring in mutant strains that have been collected and isolated for several centuries. Each forester has their own unique strains which are cloned from generation to generation. These are the ‘tennen’ (natural) varieties.

Jinzo (人造) The ‘jinzo’ (artificial) varieties are created by placing wood or plastic forms over the bark of the tree as it grows. This artificial process was developed about 150 years ago.

Kitayama Sugi Jinzo Henshibo (北山人造変絞)

Kitayama Sugi Jinzo Henshibo (北山人造変絞)

This product is created by covering the tree with a form that artificially creates various wave, wood grain and bark-like patterns on the wood.

Kitayama Hinoki Sabi Maruta (北山檜錆丸太)

Kitayama Hinoki Sabi Maruta (北山檜錆丸太)

This ‘rusted’ product has a simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. The natural ‘rust’ effect is created by cutting the top of the hinoki cypress tree and allowing sap and rain to create color the wood surface.

Kitayama Sugi Taruki (北山タルキ)

Kitayama Sugi Taruki (北山タルキ)

Traditionally, the taruki is used as the understructure of the ceiling in sukiya architecture. It is now used in furniture and other non-traditional applications. The taruki is the origin of the Kitayama Forestry and comes from the ‘Daisugi’ tree. Some daisugi trees in the Kitayama Mountains have been sustainably harvested for nearly 500 years.

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Shibo (北山天然絞)

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Shibo (北山天然絞)

This product has a naturally occurring concave and convex undulating surface, called ‘shibori‘. The surface texture is very sublime.

Kitayama Sugi Migaki Maruta (北山磨丸太)

Kitayama Sugi Migaki Maruta (北山磨丸太)

This product, Kitayama’s most well known, has high density and is completely free of knots. The ‘migaki’ surface of the post is hand polished with a special sand collected at a local waterfall.

Kitayama Sugi Menkawa Bashira (北山面皮柱)

Kitayama Sugi Menkawa Bashira (北山面皮柱)

This product is made by planing the ‘Migaki Maruta’ to expose the beautiful wood grain.

Kitayama Sugi Jinzo Shibo (北山人造絞)

Kitayama Sugi Jinzo Shibo (北山人造絞)

The Jinzo Henshibo product was invented about 150 years ago and features artificial patterns on the surface of the wood produced by wrapping forms around the live tree for three years.

Kobose Kawatsuki Maruta (香節皮付丸太)

Kobose Kawatsuki Maruta (香節皮付丸太)

Enjoy the unique warbled ‘kobushi’ surface of this product.

Honate Sabi Maruta (本档錆丸太)

Honate Sabi Maruta (本档錆丸太)

A ‘rusted’ product similar to the Hinoki Sabi Maruta, this tree is grown with branches. The post with evenly spaced knots is considered refined and is used in tea house architecture.

Ryobu Kawatsuki Maruta (令法)

Ryobu Kawatsuki Maruta (令法)

Enjoy the contrast of light and hue of the marbled surface pattern.

Tsubaki Kawatsuki Maruta (椿皮付丸太)

Tsubaki Kawatsuki Maruta (椿皮付丸太)

This product is made to enjoy the subtle brown tones and balance of the Camellia surface pattern. It is a preferred wood for Japanese tea rooms.

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Irishobo Chirimen (天然入絞 縮緬)

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Irishobo Chirimen (天然入絞 縮緬)

This product is named after a Japanese kimono fabric called ‘chirimen’, which has a crinkled texture. This mutation is prized for its rich color and luster that deepens with age.

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Deshibo Sango (北山天然出絞 三五)

Kitayama Sugi Tennen Deshibo Sango (北山天然出絞 三五)

This product, a peculiar strain of Kitayama cedar naturally has a undulating concave and convex the surface, called ‘shibori’ and is a major Kitayama Forestry product. ‘Sango’ is the name of this particular surface pattern.

Akamatsu Kawatsuki Maruta (赤松皮付丸太)

Akamatsu Kawatsuki Maruta (赤松皮付丸太)

The Japanese Red Pine is very straight and has few knots. This product is finished by a specialist craftsman that meticulously removes the outer layer of bark to expose the inner layer. ‘Akamatsu Kawatsuki’ is the preferred wood for elements of Japanese tea rooms.

Hinoki Debushi Maruta (檜出節丸太)

Hinoki Debushi Maruta (檜出節丸太)

This product is a polished Hinoki Cedar trunk that is pruned to create evenly spaced branches.  It is commonly used for columns in the entryway of traditional Japanese architecture.