Magewappa~An amazing traditional technique of Akita~       素晴らしき秋田の伝統技術:大館曲げわっぱ

The other day I got a Magewappa coffee cup that I had been wanting for years.

This is not a normal coffee cup hollowed from wood. If it were, it wouldn't be interesting at all...!

But this cup is made by bending thinly shaved Japanese cedar, the wood which has perfectly straight grain running through it.  What an amazing technique we have!

Magewappa is a traditional craft technique practiced for about 400 years in Odate city, which is located at the east end of Shirakami-Sanchi mountains (a World Heritage) in Akita.
Magewappa items are fabricated by Akita ceder, one of the three most beautiful trees in Japan.

The shavings are placed into boiling water, carefully bent when wet and tied up.

It has a beautiful grain, the scent of ceder, a bactericidal effect and is very light and solid.
For these reasons, they are made into lunch boxes, trays, bowls for cakes and sweets, and more.

Recently, I heard the lunch box of Japanese traditional crafts including Magewappa, is well-received in France, where the Japanese lunch box (Obento in Japanese) and Japanese Obento culture are getting popular nowadays.

Indeed, the appearance of a Magewappa lunch box with rice and some dishes should whet our appetite much more than normal lunch box.
I would feel like eating more than usual if i had one.

Why don't you introduce Magewappa items in your life? You surely come to like the warmth of the wood and the traditional technique of Akita. You will love it!

If you would like to learn more about Magewappa, please check this website of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries.

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