What is “Daisugi Shitate”, an ancient Japanese forestry method created nearly 800 years ago?
Kitayama cedar since the Muromachi period, and is famous for its characteristic silviculture method called daisugi -shitate. DSF ANTIQUE JEWELRY, an antique jewelry store in New York, USA, has taken up this cedar tailoring on its blog.
In Japan, which has abundant water and many mountains, forestry has been active since ancient times because houses, temples and shrines are made of wood. In particular, the Kitayama region in the northwestern part of Kyoto City has been known as a production area for
The Ancient Japanese Technique That Produces Lumber Without Cutting Tr | DSF Antique Jewelry
According to the Kyoto Kitayama Maruta Production Cooperative , the Kitayama region has long been the territory of the imperial court and temples, and used to supply lumber, firewood, torches, and irises. There are many mountains in the Kitayama region, and it is said that many of the residents made a living by forestry.
The slopes of the mountains in the Kitayama region are steep, so it is extremely difficult to plant new trees after they have been cut down. In addition, the saplings for planting trees were extremely valuable, so there was no room for error.
Under such circumstances, the forestry method devised is 'Daisugi'. According to DSF ANTIQUE JEWELRY, daisugi tailoring was developed in the 14th century. The site of Fujita Forestry , which actually runs forestry in the Kitayama region of Kyoto, says the following.
Kitayama Daisugi was created in 1200 AD (middle Muromachi period) for the purpose of producing 'rafter logs' and has a history of more than 600 years. In recent years, it seems that Daisugi is growing in various parts of Japan, but its birthplace is Kitayama, Kyoto.
In addition, it is said that 3 to 5 standing trees grow straight from one trunk. Due to its unique shape, it is said that there is no same shape, and it shows a wide variety of expressions depending on how it is tailored and maintained, so you can enjoy the beauty of a more unique garden.
For daisugi tailoring, we select several trees (standing trees) that grow upright from a trapezoidal tree (cutting tree) that looks like a flattened palm. By growing this standing tree, it is possible to cut down multiple trees that become logs for structural materials from one tree.
You can see what Daisugi is like by watching the following movie.
Kyoto Kitayama cedar _ Daisugi - YouTube
DSF ANTIQUE JEWELRY says that growing standing trees for logs while selecting sprouts from standing trees and pruning them is similar to taking care of a huge bonsai. Since it takes about 20 years for new shoots to grow, the cycle is quite fast, so Daisugi is a forestry method that can greatly meet the demand for timber while minimizing harm to the environment.
Sustainable forestry: lumber without cutting down trees. Daisugi is a Japanese forestry technique where specially planted cedar trees are pruned heavily (think of it as giant bonsai) to produce 'shoots' that become perfectly uniform, straight and completely knot free lumber . twitter.com/5ULYOmCkLp— Wrath Of Gnon (@wrathofgnon) April 15, 2020
Rafter logs cut down from Kitayama Daisugi are about 1.4 times more flexible and about twice as dense as general cedar, and have excellent strength. Therefore, it is a very important building material for Japan, where typhoons land almost every year.
But it wasn't all for show: the lumber produced in this method is 140% as flexible as standard cedar and 200% as dense/strong, in other words it was absolutely perfect for rafters and roof timber where aesthetics called for slender yet typhoon resistant perfectly straight lumber.pic.twitter.com/7lKhBHbdvn— Wrath Of Gnon (@wrathofgnon) April 15, 2020
In modern times, the demand for lumber has decreased, and the number of rafter logs cut down from Kitayama Daisugi has decreased considerably. DSF ANTIQUE JEWELRY states, 'The technique of daisugi tailoring is also used overseas. Daisugi tailoring is an example of the ingenuity that Japan has passed down to us over the centuries.'