|Magewappa is a traditional craftwork that has been made for about four hundred years in Odate city (Akita prefecture), which is located at the east end of Shirakami Mountains (World National Heritage), and is also known as one of the most famous cedar growing districts in Japan.
Trays, lunch boxes, gsushi-bachih (plates), steamers, salad bowls, and many more are made by thinly shaving Japanese cedars, which have perfect straight grains. Then, the shavings are boiled, bent, and tied up with bark from cherry blossoms. Recently, ice pails and Japanese sake bottles are being produced from these cedars with beautiful grains. The curves of the products, which make the grains more noticeable, truly define art.
For more than four hundred years our ancestors have exploited mountains, planted Japanese cedars, and repeated the process of weeding, pruning, and thinning out the forests every year to protect the beauty and health of the environment for the next generation. Even though four hundred saplings of Akita cedar have been planted, at the end, less than thirty of those would be used to make products. Only Akita cedars over hundred years old, which have survived the very severe weather conditions of northern Japan, can be bent in the manufacturing process mentioned above. Ones with a knot or even slight discoloration cannot be used. It is our pride that we have been making each product from top quality materials by hand for over a century.