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Odate Kougei Sha
Magewappa (cedar tableware)
Magewappa, is the traditional craft of creating light cedar tableware. Made in Odate city in Akita prefec- ture for nearly 400 years, using timber from the Shirakami Mountains, magewappa is made from thin shavings of Japanese cedar with a perfect straight grain. These shavings are boiled, shaped then secured with the bark from cherry trees to create a range of tableware including trays, lunch boxes, “sushi-bachi” (plates), steamers, salad bowls and much more.
For more than 400 years the people of Odate have cared for their local mountains, planting, tending, pruning, and thinning the Akita cedar forests every year. From an initial planting of 100 saplings, just 7 or 8 will grow to be suitable for magewappa, without knots or discoloration. Only Akita cedar, having survived over 100 years of the severe weather conditions of northern Japan, can be properly bent in the manufacturing process. It ensures magewappa-ware is unique to the region.
Caring for your magewappa;
Magewappa is very lightweight and has a faint cedar aroma that perfectly complements Japanese dishes, and is ideal for serving sushi. Since it has the lightest of coatings, it cannot be immersed in the water for long.
As cedar is soft, magewappa needs to be treated gently to maintain its original beauty. After use, wash in warm or cold water and dry completely with a dry cloth. Please do not leave in water for extended periods or wash with hard soap or abrasive materials which could damage the surface. Store in a dark place away from direct sunlight or heat.
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