Feature: Forester seeks greater use of wood to protect forests in postwar Japan

July 28, 2015 5:39 am 

KIHOKU, Japan, July 26 — Toru Hayami does not conceal his excitement when he talks about his "forest of 400 years" in Kihoku town in the central Japan prefecture of Mie.

"They are 100 years old and will stay there for 300 more years," Hayami, 62, said, pointing at "hinoki" cypress trees as tall as 40 meters that are sparsely planted on a steep slope near the top of a mountain in the town facing the Pacific Ocean.

"I feel excited when I just imagine that the trees will be used to repair Horyuji in 300 years' time," said Hayami, referring to a seventh-century Buddhist temple in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, widely acknowledged to have one of the oldest existing wooden structures in the world. (PNA/Kyodo)



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