In the spirit of using local materials, a lot of our house is being constructed with sugi – cryptomeia japonica, a cedar endemic to Japan.
I hate sugi. Because of its pollen, I take antihistamines for 10 weeks every spring. Most of the local sugi are mature, having been planted post-WWII as an economy boosting forestry project. But they were neglected when the bottom dropped out of the timber industry and now they fill our air with allergens. Here is an excellent article tracing the history and possible future of sugi. Sugi are shallow rooted and they fall easily in landslides and earthquakes. We saw that firsthand during the 2019 typhoon. Sugi’s a nationwide problem that the government is starting to address with reforestation and other plans.
I also love sugi. It smells wonderful. I find its knots and streaks quite beautiful, so having it as a visible element in my new house delights me. The exterior cladding, 2nd floor ceiling, and all the floors are cedar.
Mr. Sasaki started laying down the flooring this week. The planks run north-south through the whole house.
I have a dream feature in the floor, too. Floor outlets. We devised a simply way to do them and I love the way the cover slots into the floor and blends right into the knots.
Once we move in, I will be able to rearrange the furniture away from walls without concern for cords running from lamps to wall outlets. Very exciting.