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"After graduating from high school, Mr. Sukehira became a disciple of Sukesada Ueda Master Swordsmith, a master of homemade steel in Bizen Osafune, 
Okayama prefecture, and studied homemade steel and forging techniques for 13 years. After that, he became independent in Ome City, Tokyo, 
and now produces Tamahagane, the raw material of Japanese swords, using Tatara Iron making, which is few even across the country.

Japanese Samurai Sword

Sukehira Hirata

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Kurohachijo is a type of woven silk product that used to be popular in the Itsukaichi area where Mr. Mori was born and raised from the late Edo Period through the Meiji Period, so Kurohachijo is also called  “ITSUKAICHI”.
The materials need to be dyed with iron-rich mud and seeds of YASHABUSHI (species of alder tree) before weaving.
It varies in color from light to dark brown that looks almost black. The color made depends on how many times silk is dyed with mud.
These products were well-known across Japan in the old days, but their popularity has decreased over time because of their time-consuming process and productivity.
He is now the only person  having the dying technique and is titled one of 5 artisans in the area.

Kurohachijo -silk textile dyed with mud-

Hiroshi Mori

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Since she was born and raised in a small mountain town, she spent her childhood surrounded by nature, mostly running around the fields and playing with natural materials.

After getting married to a woodman of the 15th generation at Tanaka forestry in Hinohara village, she learned more about the natural plants based on her childhood experience and started working as a forest specialist that she now offers forest activities to convey the charm of the forest through handicrafts such as wild grass cooking, medicinal tea making, plant dyeing and wreath, and wall decoration making.

It has been 15 years since she moved to Hinohara village and now she is a mother of 2 young boys.
Visit her Instagram (@morinotesigotoya) for more details on her work.

Mountain Forest Exploration

Chiyoko Tanaka

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