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Hinoki (桧)

A coniferous tree belonging to the genus cypress in the cypress family. There are two types of cypress: very high-quality Kiso cypress produced in the upper reaches of the Kiso River, and local cypress that grow in various regions. Kiso-hinoki has been used since ancient times in shrines, temples and castles, including Ise Shrine. Kiso-hinoki is also used heavily in Noh theater, often as a material for Noh stages, Noh masks, Kyōgen masks, and different kinds of props. Due to its slow growth, cypress has a high density of annual rings, but the wood grain is straight and easy to work with. The beautiful pale pink bark is smooth and fragrant.

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