Japan is home to constant innovation, however, tradition never dies. At the intersection of these two worlds, you can find the wonder that is hinoki wood. This lumber is by far the most in-demand building material and well loved by many. When thinking about Japanese culture, wood is almost intrinsic to the day to day lifestyles of many.
Hinoki wood is one of the most sought-after materials in Japan. Hinoki or Japanese cypress trees grow all over the Japanese landscapes. However, different regions will yield distinctive character differences that make them slightly unique across the board. These trees can grow up to 40 meters tall and have a diameter of 1 meter.
Since ancient times, hinoki wood has been used in the construction of temples, palaces, and shrines due to its durability. Even now, those temples have survived the hardships of wear and tear and the wooden frames are still being used as the basis for renovations.
Hinoki wood contains an antibacterial component that makes it naturally resistant to moulding. Out in the forest, hinoki acts as its own insecticide which wards away any white ants that perhaps are looking for a residence. Another factor of its durability is its ability adjust to different moisture levels: in high moisture environments the wood can absorb moisture, and release water when it becomes low moisture.
Hinoki timber is pale golden yellow coupled with a distinctive relaxing aroma. The scent is an analgesic which provides a therapeutic effect for reducing stress and tiredness.
In Japan, hinoki is often used for infrastructure reinforcement, ritual bathtubs, and furniture. It has become a staple within Japanese households over the years. Mainly hinoki wood can be found in the washroom because of its wonderful durability and natural defense mechanisms for self-maintenance. It is said that these onsen baths provide a holistic experience for the mind and body only further enhanced by the elements of the hinoki wood.
IPPINKA kept this ethos in mind when creating this range of hinoki products:
The bath mat is ideal for absorbing water and moisture.
This shower, bath and sauna stool a direct nod to the traditional onsen method of bathing.
The cutting board is designed to be thin and lightweight. Soft hinoki is gentle against knives, and grooves and scratches are self-healing. Its double-sided, so one face can be used for vegetables and other for meats as the wood itself is antibacterial.