In this three-part series, artisans show how bamboo is harvested, cured, and processed with specialized tools to make intricate baskets and other household items.
After one year of growth, the thickness and height of a bamboo do not change, but with age the color and hardness change; bamboo aged 3 to 5 years is the best for bamboo ware. In November and December, the best time to cut high quality bamboo with little insect damage, enough bamboo for a year is cut with a bamboo cutting saw. The bamboo is cleaned up with a scouring brush to remove dirt before splitting. The bamboo is split to 1 cm or so in width. Since bamboo has strong vertical fibers, it is easily cut with a hatchet. Round strips are made from a tough layer close to the outer layer. The strips are shaved and thinned by hatchet, then a tool called Sendai trims the thickness. A small knife is used to make a fine slit in the bamboo, which is then split further by a push of the hand. The tip is thinly shaved to a point. The shaved bamboo strips are made round by pulling them through a series of ever diminishing holes in an iron plate; from large to small, and from a coarse finish to a medium and then a smooth finished fine round strip.
Below are part two and part three:
• Ancient Technology of Making Bamboo Crafts (YouTube / takekumiai