Forestry of Tokyo

*Japanese below 日本語は下だよ
I’m a lumberjack working and living in western part of Tokyo.
I’ve worked for this forestry company ” Tokyo Chainsaws”  for 4years,which means I ‘ve also been writing this blog for 4years.
My company has  tried to explain what is happening in the 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 posts. But after 4years, it happened. Yes, I couldn’t think of any good topics to write about…
I had to post a month ago actually. Then I realized if I write my post in English, my boss may think something 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 post written by a Japanese lumberjack!!
Maybe… my research shows that there’s none so far(in 5min of googling though).
Probably due to the following reasons:
1st  Few lumberjacks write blog posts (At least in Japan).
2nd  Few lumberjacks speak English(At least in Japan;  they may speak it sometimes in America,).
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 shit, it’s a historic piece of shit!
Let me explain about the situation of Japanese forestry to make this post at least kind of informative.
During WW2(I told you this is a historical post! Historic? Whatever…) our friends 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 timber, and it raised the price. In that time, logging was a really good business.
But buyers claimed, ”it’s too expensive!”  then the government allowed them to import timber. That decision killed the Japanese forestry industry. The price declined immediately because of far cheaper timber imported from our friend. No offence.  Now 65% of our timber is imported.

The primitive way to dry timber

Imagine, it costs 500 dollars to grow, cut,transport and sell 1㎥ of wood in Japan, and the price is only 100 dollars. Moreover, forestry is the most dangerous and the hardest job (physically) according to statistics. Furthermore, the average 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 in order to protect 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 create disasters in many ways. So, the government lets lumberjacks maintain forests through public works these days.

Cutting branches to reduce hay fever. What a meaningful public work! No offence.

Because of this, some (or many) companies have stopped thinking and are just doing what the government asks. In such a situation, it’s difficult to make innovations. So some authorities have commented that the Japanese forestry is 30years behind compare to European countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland and so on.
We at ‘‘Tokyo Chainsaws‘‘ are on the way to make forestry a 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 is high (well, compared to other prefectures, you know. It doesn’t mean my salary is …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 timber from Tokyo. We can help you! See you soon!
初めて真面目に(?)林業について書いた ふしみ


伏見 直之

伏見 直之