Jomon Sugi, cutting on three sheets of washi paper (rice paper) with a persimmon astringent liquid (kakishibu), glass size: w. 71 cm (27.9") x h. 98 cm (38.5")
• This summer, we went to Yakushima Island to see Jomon Sugi cedar with our own eyes. Some areas of Yakushima Island are inscribed as a World Nature Heritage Area. It is really a great natural environment from antiquity to the present day. We learned that cedars over 1,000 years old are known as Yaku Sugi, and those less than 1,000 years old are called "Ko-Sugi" (tiny cedar). The Yaku Sugi cedars living today are prohibited from being cut down. Yakushima Island's forestry centers are built with artificially planted cedars and Domaiboku stumps, which are the trees that fell many years ago due to natural disasters, such as typhoons, etc.).
There were many things that impressed us while walking up a mountain path to the Jomon Sugi cedar. We saw the ruins of a small school that used to be there for the children of the forestry workers in the mountains. The school was closed in 1970, when the EXPO '70 in Osaka was held. At the resting spot there, we pressed a button and listened to the school song from the loud speaker, which the Yaku-cho Board of Education might have installed for the Jomon Sugi walkers. Children's vigorous voices moved us a lot. The People's society and daily life here lasted for a very short time in the cedar-mountains that have lasted for thousands of years. Actually, school children and their parents lived there for certain periods.
The evergreen forest was the second thing that moved us a lot. Mosses and ferns had made all the visible sceneries into a world of various green-colors. The various kinds of moss were very thick and like a sponge when touched. On
many of the very big stumps were new small cedars growing up. Cedar seeds blown in the wind from somewhere landed on the stump and were joining the evergreen forest.
The Jomon Sugi cedar was far. It is the largest cedar on Yakushima Island. It is 16.4 meters in circumference. There are different theories as to the age of the tree, ranging from 2600 to 7200 years, but nobody knows for certain. It was big enough. It reminded us of the American redwood we saw in Yosemite National Park while visiting San Francisco.