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Processing Bamboo

The following section shows you bamboo processing.
A major feature of Beppu bamboo craft is that it uses high-quality materials.
 

1.Harvesting

A 3~4 year-old bamboo tree is chopped down.

2.Oil Extraction

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

3.Drying

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

4.Cutting

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

5.Splitting

Each piece is split again and again and again until it is a usable width.

6.Stripping

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

7.Making thin sticks

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

8.Finishing

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

Weaving and Finishing

The following section shows you the weaving and finishing of bamboo baskets.
A major feature of Beppu bamboo craft is that it uses high-quality materials.
 

9.Weaving the Bottom

The bottom is woven with thin bamboo strips.

10.Weaving the Body

The body wall is then woven from the bottom up.

11.Body Shape

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

12.Weaving

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

13.Finishing the Rim

The rim weaving is the last part of the process.

14.Dyeing

The basket is dipped in dye.

15.Polishing

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

16.Lacquer Finishing

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