Japanese Cedar / Japanese Cypress Tanihata Co,Ltd.

Kumiko Ramma

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anadian Cedar / Japanese Cedar / Japanese Cypress

Tanihata Kumiko is basically made from two types of wood: Japanese Cedar from Tohoku and Hokuriku and Japanese Cypress from Nagano or Gifu. Japanese Cedar features beautiful grain, and develops character with use. Japanese Cypress is much favoured in Japan and is well known for its durability, as evidenced by its use in the Horyuji temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan.

Wood descriptions

  Advantages Disadvantages Colour Price Applications
Japanese Cedar Features a clearer wood grain compared to other types of wood, develops character with use. Extremely well suited to the Kumiko technique which highlights the wood's natural beauty. Shows colour dispersion, so it is not particularly suited to spaces that are focused on colour. Light red or reddish brown ★★ Suitable for traditional Japanese spaces.
Japanese Cypress High durability and sun resistant even if unpainted. Fine grain and uniform appearance. Smooth touch, pleasant smell and beautiful fine wood texture. Scarce and expensive, so large orders using Kiso Cypress take time to be completed. White and light red ★★ Suitable for interiors in shrines/temples and spaces with modern Japanese or Western atmosphere.

Japanese Cedar

What is Japanese Cedar?

Japanese Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica, meaning "Japanese hidden treasure"

In use since the Jomom era, this is one of the most popular planted trees in Japan, it reaches maturity in 60 - 80 years.

The well known Japanese Cedar comes from Akita, Yoshina and Yakushima.

Wood suitable for Kumiko is carefully selected piece by piece.

Tanihata only uses the selected wood as below:

  • Wood with straight grain.
  • Wood with fine grain.Larger trees are selected for their beautiful grain, which however, occurs in only part of the tree.
  • Wood with beautiful colouring.As Kumiko is not painted, the natural wood colour must be beautiful. It also needs to be capable of being planed to a fine smooth surface.
Japanese Cedar comes in a variety of colours but reddish or light brown is preferred. Fine grained Japanese Cedar becomes more beautiful with use.
Tallest Akiata Ceadar
Tallest Akiata Ceadara
Akiata Ceadar Forest
Akiata Ceadar Forest

What is Jindai Cedar?

Jindai Cedar is wood that has remained underground for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. This valuable wood has remained miraculously undecayed, buried in lake beds or marsh since a time of volcanic activity in the past.

Over time the wood colour changed to black, giving it a very beautiful appearance.

Unfortunately, Jindai Cedar is rarely supplied to the market because of its scarcity, and dark coloured Kuro Jindai is extremely rare.

We keep only limited stock of Jindai Cedar, so please contact us if you wish to place an order.
Ramma made from Jindai Cedar
Ramma made from Jindai Cedar
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Japanese Cypres

What is Japanese Cypress?

Japanese Cypress has been used for palaces, temples and shrines in Japan as it has long term durability.

The Horyuji temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan, has still used the Japanese Cypress applied for its construction more than1,300 years ago. In rebuilding the temple in 1944, to be surprised, the Cypress was found to be smelled as a fresh one. Its smooth and fine touch, pleasant smell and beautiful appearance is favored by many Japanese.

Two types of Japanese Cypress are available: Genpeizai meaning a combination of red and white, from Gihu, consists of 70% reddish heartwood and 30% white sapwood. Kiso Cypress has only heartwood. Genpeizai is recommended due to its lower cost, and because there is little difference in colour between the heartwood and sapwood.

In the film "Katen no Shiro" which tells the story of building a castle for General Nobunaga, it is said that a Cypress is worth a man's life because cutting a Cypress tree without permission incurs the death penalty. It is noted that a master builder takes great care in selecting his wood.

Since no other wood equals mature Kiso Cypress (up to 280 years old), with its unique smell, glossy texture and beautiful grain, it was used in the construction of historical shrines including the Ise Jingu and Izumo Taisha Shrines.

As government regulations control forest entry and harvesting of Kiso Cypress, it is not available on the market, and therefore, is not used for Kumiko production.
However, Tanihata has special access to be able to obtain Kiso Cypress and hold some in stock.

Wood Materials


The natural essence taken from Cypress is "hinokitiol".

Hinokitiol has a strong antibacterial function which resists the growth of mould and helps to relieve atopic dermatitis.

Due to its aromatic quality, Kiso Cypress is used as a relaxant, and visitors to our factory always appreciate the smell the wood exudes.
Grandeur Kiso Hinoki
June 2014 at Kiso Hinoki Forest
June 2014 in Kiso Hinoki Forest

What is Genpeizai?

The centre wood or heartwood is reddish in colour, the outer sapwood is white.

Wood that combines both heartwood and sapwood is known as Genpeizai.

The name comes from the ancient battle in the Kamakura era in which the "Gen ji" side carried white flags, while the "Hei(Pei) ke" side carried red flags.

Genpeizai is highly recommended because of the slight difference in colour between the heartwood and sapwood.
Cypress Genpeizai and Cedar Genpeizai
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