Not long ago, there was a brave furniture craftsman who decided single handedly to move to Nishiawakura village when he learned about the “Nishiawakura 100 Year Forest Plan” in 2009, having no doubt that this was his mission to undergo for life. We managed to find the determined man, now 34, Masayuki Oshima founder of “Woodcraft Atelier Youbi”, residing in an old traditional Japanese house restored beautifully with his own hands just below the deep mountains in Nishiawakura village. How did he come to this calling? After graduating University he went to train in Takayama, Gifu prefecture as a furniture craftsman. Through his hard training and being raised by his father who was a respected carpenter, he naturally realized that his dedication to preserving Japanese cypress is how the forest can continue its precious cycle of life.
“I fell in love with this village and my role is to create the finest furniture from the mountain blessings…” as he continues expressing with enthusiasm. “I create furniture from the trees that are blessed to us and look back at the healthy mountains I supported. It’s hard work but I know I’m doing the right thing for our nature. And this is exactly the kind of environment I wanted to work and live for” speaking softly with confidence somehow making us understand that he in fact was called for from the mountain spirits. We take a deep breath and appreciate the fresh cypress aroma surrounding the atelier with tender ambience.