A little while back we started an experiment in our studio to test the antibacterial capabilities of Japanese cedar (sugi). This wood comes from the Yoshino area, where there is an over 500 year old tradition of afforestation (longer than anywhere else on earth). Read more about artificial forestry in Japan here
Our experiment was pretty simpleーwe put two pieces of white bread into separate but identical mason jars. In the left hand jar, as you can see, there is a thin piece of sugi beneath the bread. There is nothing other than bread in the right hand jar. Just as is written on the label, both pieces of bread were placed into the jar on April 25th, and the following photo shows the progress of both pieces of bread as of May 5th:
Our preliminary findings seem to indicate that Japanese cedar has some tremendous antibacterial qualities, but we are curious to hear the opinions of all you mycologists out there! We've all heard of someone putting cedar blocks in a drawer with their clothes to keep moths away, but the dramatic difference between these two pieces of bread was still a bit surprising for us. Please share this post with anyone who might be able to offer more insight into the properties of this amazing tree! m(_ _)m
When this article was originally posted in Japanese on our Facebook page we were asked if this lack of mold was not due to some sort of dehumidification process, but as the center of the jar is a bit cloudy it seems unlikely that this is the case. From here on out we're planning a few more experiments with the sugi, but this preliminary test has been pretty interesting to say the least (^-^)v
All of the sugi that Tokunaga Furniture uses in our work comes from the same part of Yoshino as this little guy, and you can see some examples of cedar in our work in the first two chairs here. We are really fascinated with this tree, so be sure to let us know if you know anything else about its capabilities!
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