The Japanese Wood and Culture Seminar is organized by the Japan Wood-Products Export Association (JWPEA) to promote the quality, usage, art and culture of Japanese wood materials. The following four lectures are presented for the comprehensive understanding of the Japanese wood and culture, together with the traditional and modern application of wood materials, knowledge and techniques.
Characteristics of Yakisugi, presented by Nakamoto Forestry (Download PDF)
Interior of Tea-Ceremony Room, presented by Hanamasu Mokko Ltd. (Download PDF)
Characteristics of Shina from Hokkaido and Shirakaba, presented by Takizawa Venner Co., Ltd. (Download PDF)
Japanese Wood Culture and Promotional Activity for Education of Wood, presented by Japan Wood Culture Society (JWCS) (Download PDF)
Japan Wood-Products Export Association (JWPEA)
Welcome to 2021 World Wood Day, CO2 & Wood. Trees absorb CO2 and contain carbon within wood. Sustainable bio diversity forestry and responsible use of wood could expand carbon storage, and using wood could help reducing CO2 emissions. An eco-friendly material, wood is good.
Chinese and foreign wood artists at Wenzhou School for Special Education" is an extraordinary cultural exchange activity and a caring action. 20 outstanding wood artists from 14 countries gathered together, spending a memorable time with teachers and students from the special school. With the theme of "love for life", the event was jointly sponsored by the International Wood Culture Society and the Wenzhou Municipal Education Bureau. In the three-day intense and orderly wood carving activity, the artists and their student assistants completed the works in a pleasant atmosphere. All the finished works were collected in Wenzhou School for Special Education, witnessing the power of love. At the same time, DIY projects including the mini-woodturning, puppet show and puppet painting were also welcomed warmly. Students were happily took the opportunity experiencing the art and charm of wood. Chinese and foreign artists not only shared their passion, their special care and inspiration to children, but also sow a seed for their future. The event become an unforgettable memory for all the people involved.
Since 2012, it is the second-time for IWCS to documentary the 20th All Japan Junior High School Woodworking Competition & World Wood Day 2020 Memorial Contest, included in the 20th National Junior High School Education Fair for Creative Monodzukuri (Manufacturing), held at the Umejima Elementary School on January 25th. 16 students as winners of regional contests have to finish their designed projects within 4 hours and to present their work in front of the judges and audience. The grand award ceremony then took place at the Art Center of Tokyo on January 26th, and the Chair's Award of World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) was presented by the Director of WWDF and IWCS. The friendship together with the same enthusiasm towards woodworking is the most important conclusion of the competition.
The World Congress 2014 of International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) joined the conference, and brought all participants different ways of viewing the wood culture.
Mr. Wood is as old or as young as our planet. He is endless and will live forever if mankind does not destroy the World. Back in the days when mankind started to heavily exploit natural resources, Mr. Wood was against it. But with time, mankind proved to be able to do the best possible use of wood. This usage gives Mr. Wood a second life, he loves mankin and he is proud to be such an important resource.
The film is set around a poem that talks about the similar differences both humans and wood have, and how connected we are through those differences. The film highlights the diversity of wood/trees in relation to the diversity within humans
'Woodland Pioneers' follows the trainees and apprentices of the Bill Hogarth MBE Memorial Apprenticeship Trust over the course of a week in the beautiful South Lake District as they learn to Coppice, a traditional woodland management system, along with the crafts and skills associated with the harvested wood and wood products. From baskets to fencing panels, stools to coracles, the video explores the economic and environmental benefits of coppicing and the work of the trust itself in its efforts to keep ancient skills alive and stimulate the local rural economy.
This is an ancient oriental tale about natural forces and human greed, told by children for the future generations. Enter the world of magic and children fantasies. So, once upon a time in desert a little man met a great sacred tree, which granted his every wish. He wished for more and more without consideration for his tree. And here is what happened...
Film was created without special effects. Ideas of costumes, decorations and characters were created by children.
The XIV World Forestry Congress, themed “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future,” was grandly held in Durban, South Africa from 7 to 11 September 2015. Gathering the world forestry’s sectors every six years, it serves as an important platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss related key issues and explore ways to sustainability. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) also took part in the exhibition and discussions to promote wood culture, a way to remind people that forest is our roots. The diversity of culture and diversity of ecological system are interconnected. We all grow and bind together and therefore, efforts by individuals and groups, big or small, are significant in building our sustainable future.
The 2016 Collaborative Project kept exploring the possibilities among traditionally-different practices through teamwork as 20 collaborators came together to create wooden sculptural works in Bhaktapur. Together with interactive playground equipment that created a safe wood environment for school children, an installation consisting of 282 carved bricks by 130 artists rose to bring hope of renewal to the community. It was an inclusive venture between creative minds and the community where skills were shared, artistic thinking was challenged, and authentic partnerships were forged through a process of collective ownership, fellowship and mutual respect. This cross-border platform encourages communal interactions while offering younger generation new experiences to discover the art in wood that is both educational and entertaining.
Woodturning Training program at Wenzhou School of Special Education, set up by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and the American Association of Woodturners (AAW), continued in November, 2015. Mr. Andy Chen from United States, as the instructor of this semester, gave a bowl-turning lesson to Zhu Shicheng and the students at school.
The whole staff of Wenzhou School of Special Education expressed their appreciation to IWCS and AAW. Everyone does hope Mr. Zhu could keep on practice and grasp the skill to pay back the society and the students who need more social care.
The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is the national research laboratory of the United States Forest Service. The focus of the Forest Products Laboratory is to apply their scientific research onto different kinds of wood utilization and to promote healthy forests and forest-based economies through the efficient, sustainable use of the Nation's wood resources.
Every day, hundred of teachers in Spain are living around the wood. They join pasion for wood and vocation for teaching. They are joiners teaching the wood to students who not always have the vocation for it. Throughout this path, students learn a trade, to do their best, and they learn too to love the wood and the profession. For teachers, this is also a communal living and learning path, which is marking their life.
Chen Li, a young designer graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, is seeking to pinpoint his direction from his apprenticeship at the San Francisco WoodShop, California. Founded in 1974 and currently run by John Sheridan, this furniture making studio and school offers possibilities for taking concepts to practice and making ideas possible by techniques, with wood as the material. Their design furniture incorporates both the aesthetic expression and functional goals in the finely crafted pieces, along with the communicative intent embodied in the stories portrayed, meaning conveyed or thoughts illustrated, allowing conception and execution to integrate in terms of the process of making.
The event was aimed to help those Syrian children staying in refugee camps in Lebanon to receive much-needed education. A wooden classroom was built in seven days at the Tall Abbas Al Gharbi Refugee Camp, situated at the border of Lebanon and Syria, as part of the World Wood Day regional event. Volunteers gave classes on the importance of wood and assisted the children in making classroom equipment, such as desks, chairs, a board, baskets, etc. A tree planting activity was also arranged to spread the message of sustainable development. All the volunteers who participated in the project were deeply moved and touched by what the classroom could do and mean to the children.
More information on World Wood Day.
Rotorua is a city located south of the Lake Rotorua, the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand. Te Puia- Guardian of Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, is the primary Maori culture, performances and experiences that has become an iconic place most visitors go. The National Carving School in Te Puia offers comprehensive educational and training programs that are most well-known in New Zealand, and many top wood carvers were trained here.
The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding is a non-profit organization with the philosophy of "open doors, open minds". It was established in 1988, with the aim to raise awareness and demystify the local culture and customs of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, the capital city of the UAE, used to play as an important trading spot for wood and wood used to be widely applied in people's daily lives.
The University of California, Berkeley, one of most prominent universities in the world, embraces not only 22 Nobel laureates in the faculty to date, but three species of sequoia on campus. The reunions of giant sequoia, coast redwood and dawn redwood have been part of the school along with a variety of trees and plants. Dr. Momei Chen, a redwood expert who has long striven to study and protect redwoods, is one of the key persons that help bringing the sequoia family together at UC Berkeley.
Finger spinning tops are not merely toys but can be a token of love. A total of 150 tops traveled far and landed on the hands of the students of Wenzhou School for Special Education. It was a kind gesture by Australian woodturner Erine Newman, who was invited over to lead a two-week woodturning training course for the collaborative project of IWCS-AAW beginning September 15, 2014.
A fifth generation wood worker, Newman is active at woodturning events worldwide. Wholeheartedly involving himself in the project, Mr. Newman exerted special efforts in intriguing students’ curiosity about wood as well as instilled them with safe operation guide beyond demonstrating the skill of woodturning.
More information World Wood Day.
From 19th to 22th January 2012, IWCS went to Tokyo, Japan for a Japanese national woodcraft competition for the juniors. After witnessing the keen and fascinating competition, we eventually obtained the whole picture of the Japanese wood education and its strategy.
Last year, 311 earthquake stroke Japan severely. Therefore, the “12th National Woodcraft Competition for Juniors” set the contest theme as “earthquake-proof cupboard.” 12 regional champions gathered in Tokyo for a total 4-hour-competition. The details of requested items for the cupboard design were announced merely one week before the contest. It required not only creativity but practical skills to complete the work.
Although coming from different regions and backgrounds, every student had an enthusiastic attitude towards woodcraft. This was supported by an ideal and practical education system. As the chief judge Professor Ozaki Shiro had told us, “The competition goal is to make students understand the meaning of wood use, and furthermore, to improve human life by the correct and efficient use of wood.”
The 2nd National Vocational & College Student Carpentry Skills Competition, hosted by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), was held in Changsha on Oct. 27, 2013. It was co-organized by the Central South University of Forestry Science and Technology.
Concurrently with the 2013 International Wood Culture Symposium on Taxodiaceae, a competition was held on making wooden stools using Chinese fir. The aim of the activity was to promote the culture of traditional Chinese woodwork, to display and improve vocational & college students' hand carpentry skills, and inspire creativity and passion for carpentry among students.
Applications for the competition opened in July this year, the competition theme was confirmed in September, and design drawings were submitted a week before the competition. Sixteen students from four vocational schools and eleven universities came together on Oct. 27 to show their talents. During the four-hour competition, the students completed a variety of creative work using saws, chisels, axes, planes, using snap lines, drills, and making mortises. Later during the assessment, every competitor explained to the audience their ideas and purposes, and the functions, features and technical difficulties of their work.
The judges were Professor Yang Ping from the faculty of education, Kumamoto University in Japan; Mr. Yang Jinrong , director of the Jiangsu Gongmei Hongmu Culture & Art Institute; and Professor Li Zhen from Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. They evaluated the works with seven criteria: design and creativity, production skill, the completion of the works, accuracy and quality, structure, material utilization and interpretation. Li Nie from the Xiuning First Senior Vocational School won first place.
Wood, being a naturally eco-friendly and renewable resource, is fundamental for sustainable development, and a low-carbon society and environment. How to master the properties of wood, make full use of the material, and combine theory with practice are key elements. Wood education teachers have a long way to go and expectations on students are high. Such carpentry skill competitions should inspire more passion for wood and carpentry among young people and promote the culture of traditional Chinese carpentry to create competent practitioners for the future.
Woodcarving Introduced to School Campus
The opening ceremony for the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition and Student Woodcarving Art Festival was held at Guangxi University.The exposition was held in the leafy, shaded square behind the Forestry College at Guangxi University. A large audience, mainly teachers and students, visited the on-site wood carving show over the first 2 days. 20 students from the university also joined the carving team for the festival, while learning and communicating with the artists.
More than 200 students pursuing majors in wood science and technology took part in this activity. In tandem with the exposition and festival, Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Chinese Hongmu art and culture, and Mr. Terry Martin, Australian wood artist, gave the students two very impressive lectures.It was a good opportunity for the students to communicate with professional wood carvers face-to-face, and also to start the process of combining wood science with culture. Wood carving, as an art form, has taken its place on the campus.
Different Cultures, One Homeland
The 11 sculptors were from different cultural backgrounds and use different carving styles, but all of the works were created under the same theme, Homeland, and they all used the same scented wood, Camphor.The art works of the 4 artists from ASEAN countries reflected their lifestyles and beliefs. They shared the history and culture of South-east Asian countries with us.Malaysian artist Taufik carved the national flower of Malaysia, the Bunga Raya, while Indonesian artist Sutarya Hrfsor carved the Lotus Flower that is common to both Buddhism and Islam. Indonesian artist I Kadek Parta selected the Ramayana story from Indian history.
Nature and Home, Full of Humanity and Spirit
In the Chinese group, the 7 artists came from Dongyang and Yongjia of Zhejiang province, Xianyou of Fujian province, Lushan of Sichuan province, and Jianchuan of Yunnan province. Their creative works combined modern and traditional skills, reflecting their feelings and dreams about homeland.
Both Xu Yongping and Jin Liquan chose the subject of mother to show their ideas about homeland. Zheng Guodi used the Chinese traditional subject Three Sheep keeping watch on the home. Yang Huanpei’s carving was like a poem and depicted his fantasy homeland, Dali.
Wang Haibo, from Dongyang, Zhejiang province, was the youngest wood carver. He applied Dongyang relief carving skill and used his lively imagination to present us with a Chinese traditional scroll painting, a whole dreamland picture of Peach Blossom Valley.
Wu Xiaomei’s piece was particularly thought-provoking. She showed us a broken house after the earthquake this year in Sichuan, quite a courageous choice.
Wang Guohua, from Xianyou, Fujian Province, took just 2 days to finish his work. He generously incorporated the natural bark and growth-rings of the tree in his piece. As he said, “Human beings need generosity and tolerance, and so does nature. Our home should be a tolerant home.”
During the event, Terry Martin, Australian wood artist and a representative of the American Association of Woodturners showed his splendid woodturning technique to the audience in Guangxi University and CAEXPO. His demonstration aroused considerable interest among the crowds.
Highlight of Forest and Wood Products Expo
After Guangxi University, the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition continued at the International Conference and Exhibition Center on 15-17 November, and was a highlight of the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
Mr. Terry Martin, Mr. Feng Wentu, Master of Chinese arts and crafts, and Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Hongmu art and culture, were the judges. Zheng Guodi, Yang Huanpei, Sutarya Hrfsor, I Kadek Parta, Taufik and Duangmala Wanlop won prizes for “Outstanding Traditional Value”; Xu Yongping and Jin liqun won prizes for “Special Design”; and Wang Haibo, Wang Guohua and Wu Xiaomei won prizes for “Special Creativity”.
The 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition was organized by IWCS, and co-organized by the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, Forestry College of Guangxi University, and Jiangsu Hongmu Culture and Arts Institute, and Supported by the China National Forest Products Industry Association, IUFRO-Division 5.
Concurrently with the wood carving exposition, IWCS also organized the 4th China-ASEAN International Wood Culture Forum. Both activities promoted communication, basic academic research and the practice of wood culture in the China-ASEAN area and contributed to the integration of art and culture into the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
Built in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is a zoology park with an area of 82 acre. It lies on the Corstrorphine Hill, which not only provides extensive view of the city but also offers environment features that shape several microclimates. Therefore, Edinburgh Zoo is also characterized by collections of at least 1,200 different tree species and 3,500 plant species.
In order to create a suitable habitat for the animals, a group of trained botanic gardeners collaborate with the zoo keepers to manage the enclosure for the animals. Moreover, since the climate has changed dramatically over the past few years, the gardeners are now facing the challenge to cope with the issue.
Dr. Pieter Baas, an expert of wood anatomy and former scientific director of the herbarium, guided us through the wooden specimen collection at the university. The herbarium is one of the world’s largest with over 5.5 million plant specimens collected from around the world over the last decades. The wooden specimens are also in profusion and they go through a series of bug-removing and maintenance processes before being stored. The experts on wood at the institution conduct researches around the world.
The museum, once an orphanage, mainly displays objects and paintings related to the city from the 17th century onward, including numerous ancient wooden artifacts created by local artists. There are also wooden miniatures on the city’s infrastructure such as the canal and the city hall. Vivid large biblical figures made with wood stand in the public access area, and samples of large wooden poles immersed under water that support the city’s older buildings are also in display.
Norsk Skogmuseum (The Norwegian Forest Museum) is located at Elverum, Hedmark County, Norway. The museum aims to provide the knowledge of Norwegian forest culture and life related to forestry, hunting, fishing, and aquarium.
In the museum main hall on the ground floor, many aspects of the forestry, such as timber floating, hunting, forest industry in the old times and the present times, and social conditions in forestry, including living conditions, forest fare, clothes and dress, etc., are well introduced with pictures and exhibits of forest tools and machinery. On the first floor, visitors can see numerous exhibits of hunting, trapping, and fishing in Norwegian’s everyday life.
Outside the museum, there is an arboretum, a botanical garden of trees and bushes, situated in the southeast part of the museum. The outdoor exhibits consist of various devices employed in hunting and trapping, and cabins used during logging, hunting, and fishing from 17th -20th century.
The Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensee Ouvriere (Tool and Trade Museum) is located in Troyes, in a Renaissance style mansion, called Hotel de Mauroy. In 1966, the city of Troyes acquired and entrusted this mansion to the Compagnons du Devoir du Tour de France, an association comprising craftsmen and artisans from the Middle Ages up to now. This association has carefully renovated the mansion and has turned it into a museum.
The museum has a rich collection of over 10,000 tools that were once used for cutting, crafting, and measuring wood by craftsmen, from the 17th to 18th century. Father Paul Feller, a Jesuit priest, is the person who first started to collect these tools since 1958. The museum also displays photos telling the history of logging, sewing, building log houses, making barrels, wheels, and more. Through these tool and photo exhibitions, the museum intends to provide knowledge and arouse the interest of apprentices, craftsmen, amateurs, and many others, about the history and the tradition of craftsmanship in the old days.
Lello Book shop is located in Porto. It was inaugurated on January 13, 1906, and designed by a noted engineer of the time, Xavier Esteves. The Lello Bookshop is housed in a white architecture with art nouveaux facade; its distinguished outlook stands out from the rest of the other historical buildings on the street.
When stepping inside the bookshop, you will immediately feel a welcoming and cozy atmosphere, and be amazed by the full wall height bookshelves, and the high ceiling which created an expanded view. Other magnificent wooden interior decoration, such as carved wooden spiral staircase, fine carving of famous local writers on the column, and intricate woodcarving ceiling are just as impressive.
This beautiful bookshop is now one of the attractions in Porto. It has been selected as the third best bookshop in the world by the well-known travel guidebook, the Lonely Planet.
Malacca, located in the southern region of Malay Peninsula, is the third smallest state in Malaysia. The capital Malacca City is 148 kilometers southeast from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. And the city has also been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
Malacca has been colonized by the Europeans for more than 400 years. Portuguese was the first invader after Sultanate in 1511. Malacca then became a strategic base for expansion and also for spices trading. After Portuguese, there were also Dutch, British, and Japanese colonization. It was not until 1946 that the Malays toppled the regime and Malacca finally became part of Malayan Union, which later became Federation of Malaya and then eventually Malaysia.
Malacca is therefore deeply influenced by the history of foreign occupation, which can be found not only in material remains, but also in cultural tradition, such as food, dance, and festivals. The Stadthuys, Museums of History and Ethnography, has abundant records of the past stories, especially the sailing history, which includes models of ancient wooden boats and archives.
University of the Philippines Los Banos is a prestigious, coeducational university located in the Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. UPLB started as a College of Agriculture and has become a comprehensive university.
Today, UPLB dedicates to advancing knowledge of agriculture and forestry. UPLB focuses on many research fields, including biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, strengthening agricultural support systems and more.
After decades of effort to collect forestry and wood resources, there are over 12,000 specimens of forestry herbarium and wood collection in the university today.
The Wood Library on campus has rich information of domestic and foreign wood collections, and they welcome any other universities abroad to exchange their wooden specimens with them.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), founded in 1959, is the largest botanical garden in China. Under the leadership of the famous botanist Professor Cai Xi Tao, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is a national research institution focusing on forest ecosystem ecology, conservation biology and resource plant development. It is a comprehensive research programme that engaged in biodiversity conservation and sustainable uses of plant resources. Nowadays, there are around 12,000 species of tropical plants are well preserved here.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has set a goal to be the World Class Botanical Garden with the support from Yunnan government. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has also made outstanding contributions to the area of science research, species preservation, science education and the development of technology.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden preserves over 12,000 species of tropical plants in a large tropical rainforest of 1100 ha. Also, it has established regular cooperation with over 50 countries. In recent years, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has successfully organized and hosted a series of international conferences, and has also included outstanding scholars in the world as honorary professors.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has been recognized as National Knowledge innovated Base, National Youth Base of Science, National AAAAA Rank Tourist Spot, and National Demonstrated Civilized Tourist Spot. There are more than 500,000 people coming to the garden annually for tourist and educational purposes.