Hinoki Japanese Cypress
Japanese cypress ("Hinoki") is known as highly aromatic wood and has several other benefits including anti-bacterial effects and moisture control.
Hinoki is recognized as the highest quality building material in Japan.
One of its known characteristics is the fine, well-ordered grain which is easy to process and emits a pleasurable evergreen aroma loved by many.
Architectures have lasted over 1000 years when Hinoki wood is properly used, so it is a sustainable material.
There's an old saying in Japan, "You barely get sick when you live in a house made of Hinoki" or "It repels mosquitos". These sayings come from known traits in Hinoki's essential tree oil's which protects itself from harsh environments, and it even continues to work as timber. Harmful insects cannot penetrate it and virtually do not rot, so it is highly valued as a building material. The famous Gojunoto ("5 Storied-Pagoda") has been lasting for over 1300 years, and Hinoki use is at the core of its longevity.
Interesting fact: when you put small pieces of Hinoki in a ziplock bag, along with bread or mochi, for example, it takes a much longer time to mold than storing them by themselves.
There are medicinal components in Hinoki that have various uses including anti-gingivitis, treating an athlete's foot, and hair growth tonic.
A house made of all Hinoki or a hinoki bathtub both have a fantastic relaxing effect. It's the same kind of effect when you take a stroll in the forest.
The anti-bacterial qualities of Hinoki come from a component called Phytoncide. The great thing about Hinoki is that the Phytoncide in it continues to emanate as timber.
The evergreen essence contained in Hinoki is known to soothe the autonomous nerve and brain activities.
Many great effects come from it such as lowering blood pressure, stabilizing pulse, and better sleep.
Hinoki aroma oil has become very popular and is used as a natural remedy in places like hospitals. Add Hinoki's natural relaxation to your home environment through items made out of them!
Another reason for Hinoki being considered the top quality building material in Japan is in its humidity control characteristic. It has been dubbed as "Natural A/C". It's that great when it comes to controlling humidity.
Taking advantage of those qualities, imagine making containers, bento/lunch boxes, cooking utensils, etc. For example, sandwiches keep that soft fluffy bread intact for a long time. When making sushi rice, a rice tub made of Hinoki is indispensable for sushi chefs because it absorbs the excess water that evaporates from the cooked rice, which makes sushi rice soggy if you tried to do it in an aluminum bowl.