I’m a lumberjack working and living in western part of Tokyo.
I’ve worked for this forestry company ” Tokyo Chainsaws” for 4years and it means I ‘ve written this blog for 4years.
Our company’s tried to tell what is happening in forests of Tokyo and what kind of people are working here. So this is part of my job. You may find many mistakes in this post. Be patient, friends. This is not an academic paper. Just a blog written by a barbarian.
I hope you can read Japanese, too. Then you can read my Japanese posts filled with my extraordinary sense of humor. Unfortunately my English level doesn’t allow me to make this post as funny as I can do in Japanese. So learn Japanese. Worth it.
This photo was taken in Tokyo
Basically I like writing blog. But after 4years, it happened. Yes, I couldn’t find any good topics to write…
I had to post a month ago actually. Then I realized if I write my post in English, my boss may think like ” Ah, he wrote it in English! Now I understand why it took so long. This will make our website international! He did it!” lol
There’s one more reason that I wrote in English.
Now you’re reading the first English blog written by a Japanese lumberjack!!
Maybe… A research says there’s none so far(it’s my 5min googling though).
1st Few lumberjacks write blogs(At least in Japan).
2nd Few lumberjacks use English(At least in Japan. In America, they may use sometime).
3rd Few people need information about Japanese forestry in English…(what a waste of time for me and you!)
So even though this post is piece of sit, it’s historic!
Let me explain about the situation of Japanese forestry to make this post informative, even just a little bit.
During WW2(I told you this is a historical post! Historic? Whatever…) our friend burnt almost all of our cities. No offence.
So after the war, people had to rebuild so many houses and buildings. They needed more and more timbers, and it raised the price of them. In that time, logging was a really good business.
But buyers claimed ”it’s too expensive!” then government allowed them to import timbers. That decision killed Japanese forestry. The price declined immediately because of far cheaper timbers imported from our friend. No offence. Now 65% of them are imported.
The primitive way to dry timbers
Imagine, it costs 500 dollars to grow, cut, carry and sell 1㎥ of log in Japan. And its price is only 100 dollars. Moreover forestry is the most dangerous and the hardest (physically) job according to statistics. Furthermore the average of salary is, well, you know… Then you wanna be a lumberjack, idiot?
That’s why so many lumberjacks gave up their businesses and vast forests ware abandoned. You may think it’s a good thing to stop entering forests for environment. But planted forests need proper maintenance (like thinning) to keep their ecosystem healthy(40% of forests are planted forests in Japan). Leaving them will make disasters in many ways. So government let lumberjacks maintain forests through public works these days.
Cutting branches to reduce hay fever. What a meaningful public work! No offence.
Because of it some (or many) companies stop thinking and just doing what government’s offering. In such a situation, it’s difficult to make innovations. So some authorities say, Japanese forestry is 30years behind compare to European countries like German, Austria, Switzerland and so on.
We ‘‘Tokyo Chainsaws‘‘ is on the way to make forestry more sustainable business (ecologically and economically) in Tokyo.
It’s tough. Mountains are all so steep, tall grasses and bushes prevent growth of trees, salary for employees are expensive (well, compare to other prefectures, you know. It doesn’t mean…ah… you know).
My working wear is cutting edge.
But we believe if we can do it here, every other company in Japan and the world can do it, too.
How? It needs a few more months to write it. My boss won’t allow it so it’s time to finish. I hope people who are interested in Japanese forestry or kind enough to teach me correct English read this post.
Feel free to ask anything especially if you’re thinking to build your house with timbers from Tokyo. We can help you! See you soon!