Sugi Kitayama @ Kyoto

Located about 20 kilometers to the north-west of the city of Kyoto in the Kitayama Mountains is the village of Nakagawa. Nakagawa has practiced ‘Kyoto Kitayama Forestery’ for centuries, meticulously raising the Japanese cedar, called ‘sugi’ in Japanese.

This material is used in the most refined and sophisticated Japanese architecture and is common in Japanese construction for villas and tea houses to aristocrats.

Kitayama Maruta poles have a long history of 600 years and during the Muromachi era (1394-1428) the main aspects of Kitayama forestry was developed. The trees are pruned of trunk branches every three years to create a pole that is completely free of knots.

After trunk cutting, bark peeling, mountainside vertical semi-drying the logs are brought down to the village and are hand polished with a special quartz-free sand gathered from a local waterfall. Next the logs are split to the center and then naturally dried in a special warehouse.