05:00 PM - 06:00 PM (PST)
Bamboo has traditionally been deeply rooted in Japanese culture and is related to the lives and sentiments of the Japanese people, as seen in their language and lifestyle. It has long been used in architecture and furniture; worked into baskets, food vessels and utensils, musical instruments and wellness products; and even consumed as food. In various shapes and forms, the plant has been an essential component of Japanese lifestyles. While its benefits have historically been known by people in Japan, there are certain aspects that have come to be forgotten in modern culture. In this webinar, we spotlight the lesser-known benefits and uses of bamboo, while revealing its deep connection with Japanese culture.
In this webinar, Yoshihiro Yamagishi, the second Japanese national to be named World Bamboo Ambassador, and President of Japanese bamboo product company Taketora, introduces you to the extraordinary world of bamboo, sharing benefits and uses from its anti-bacterial effect to use as sustainable resource. Along with introducing some of the exciting new uses for bamboo in Japan today, Yamagishi spotlights possible future applications for the plant as well.
The discussion is in Japanese with English translation.
*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.
Images Courtesy of Taketora
Yoshihiro Yamagishi is the president of Taketora, a bamboo product company based in Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku. Specializing in crafts made from tiger bamboo, Taketora was founded in 1894, and Yamagishi is its fourth-generation president. He has worked tirelessly to promote tiger bamboo and raise awareness of bamboo’s vast potential, both domestically and internationally.
In 2018, he was the second Japanese national to be appointed World Bamboo Ambassador by the World Bamboo Congress in recognition of “active involvement in discovering the potential of bamboo as a natural resource and presenting it to the world.” Yamagishi gave a keynote speech at the Congress held in Mexico titled, "100 Years of Tiger Bamboo - The Utilization of Sustainable Local Resources".
Yamagishi has been involved in many noteworthy activities to promote Kochi’s bamboo industry, for example the 2016 “Bamboo Tracker” tiger bamboo electric vehicle which he drove 1,000 km (approximately 621 miles) from Kochi to Yokohama in the “Challenge Run Yokohama” and followed with similar challenges in 2022 between Kochi and Yamaguchi. He has presented broadly on bamboo-related topics, including his 2017 lecture on the potential uses of bamboo at JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), and his 2020 showcase of Taketora’s bamboo products in a traveling exhibition in France titled, “Bamboo in Japanese Daily Life.”
LIFE CYCLES: A Bamboo Exploration with Tanabe Chikuunsai IV
A fourth-generation bamboo artist, Tanabe Chikuunsai IV (b. 1973) dramatically pushes the boundaries of the artform. While continuing his family’s tradition of weaving bamboo flower baskets and smaller sculptural works, he is also renowned for using bamboo as a material for large-scale contemporary artworks and installations at museums and other venues around the world. The exhibition LIFE CYCLES examines the Chikuunsai artistic lineage, Tanabe Chikuunsai IV’s creative process, and the life of Japan’s bamboo forests.
From Roots to Shoots: Bamboo as a Cultural Icon
Beyond its reputation as a multi-faceted design material, bamboo’s roots go even deeper in Japanese culture and philosophy. Bamboo’s strength and flexibility have inspired everything from ancient folklore to cartoon mascots, not to mention being a staple ingredient of delicious cuisine. Read on to discover the many uses and symbolism of bamboo.
Weaving Sustainability: Bamboo Craft in Japanese Tradition
Bamboo is finally getting recognition as a sustainability superstar – but this is hardly news to the Japanese artisans who have been using it as a renewable resource for centuries. In this new article, learn about the traditions of bamboo craft that illustrate the ways this fast-growing, eco-friendly plant can be part of daily life, and are now inspiring architects and designers worldwide.