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Processing Bamboo

The following section shows you bamboo processing. We chose the best bamboo.

 1Harvesting

Bamboo that is 3-4 years old is chopped down.

 2Oil Extraction

Excess oil is removed from bamboo by boiling it in caustic soda water for about 15 minutes.

 3Drying

The bamboo is then sun-dried and becomes yellow in color. It is then bought by bamboo craftsmen.

 4Cutting

The bamboo is cut into suitable lengths and then split in half along its grain.

 5Splitting

Each piece is split again and again and again and so on to create usable width.

 6Stripping

The pieces are stripped of their soft, inner layer and spilit into still smaller and smaller pieces.

 7Making thin sticks

The ultimate thickness of each piece is determined using a tool called a 'sukisen and the width, using a habatori'.

 8Finishing

The corners are rounded off with a knife to finish them.

Weaving and Finishing

The following section shows you the weaving and finishing of bamboo baskets. We chose the best bamboo.

 9Weaving the Bottom

The bottom is woven with thin bamboo sticks.

10Weaving the Body

The body wall is then woven from the bottom up.

11Body Shape

The basket is shaped according to the craftsman's design.

12Weaving

The basket is woven tightly, little by little, determining its shape.

13Finishing the Rim

The rim weaving is the last part of the process.

14Dyeing

The basket is dipped in dye.

15Polishing

After the basket is dry it is polished with a cloth.

16Lacquer Finishing

The basket is finished with natural lacquer.

Occasionally, it is finished using shuai-urushi, a concentrated lacquer with color added to it.

©Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center 8-3 Higashisoen Beppu City 874-0836 Japan    phone:0977-23-1072