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Shimomoto is a bamboo artist based in Japan. Fascinated by the life cycle of woodland and the human relationships to it, Shimomoto originally started his professional career as charcoal burner, guided by an elderly local expert. It didn't take long for him to turn his eye to bamboo carving, which gradually became his main passion. 
Firmly rooted in his native land of mountainous Kochi, Shimomoto sources local bamboo cane in the most sustainable and responsible way. The varieties of bamboos he uses vary from thick and tall Moso-chiku and Ha-chiku to Shiho-chiku that grows only in Kochi. 

As a charcoal burner, Shimomoto developed his own technique of smoke-treating bamboo cane before crafting it into various items. Smoke treatment takes a week in Shimomoto's hand-built kiln and gives extra hardening, anti-mold and insect-repellent properties to the bamboo materials.


Shimomoto focuses his mind on the relations between bamboo, the local land and human activities, and finds great possibilities for bamboo as a sustainable material. Bamboo is a special fast-growing plant that has been well utilized by humans in history, but in the world plastic and metal have mostly replaced it. Some bamboo varieties are invasive and can grow 10 meters high in  just three months, which can easily damage the balance in the woodland environment. 

Portrait photo: Kawakami Nobuyoshi

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