Keyaki is the most favored wood for beauty and decorative effect. It is a dense, hard, ring-porous wood, always flat-sawn to expose grain and figure. “Ring Porous” refers to the large pores in the early growth of the season. Such pores are exposed as wood is milled and cut, especially when flat-sawn. Some keyaki wood has very figurative grain, depending on where boards are cut from the tree. With yellowish beige outer layers and amber red toward the heartwood, zelkova is appreciated for its bold grain and high luster. A medium-hard wood, its strength lies in its great resilience and the fact that it allows very little or no expansion, contraction, or warping. The very best timbers are furthermore quite resistant to rotting. Grown on three of the four main islands of Japan-Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu-this member of the elm family was even used as building timbers.
Keyaki is the primary face wood for drawers and decorative panels in doors, often contrasting in color with sugi(ceder) and hinoki. In furniture, it is most commonly used for such items as chests, trunks, and writing table and desk.
It is one of the most expensive Japanese furniture woods. The reason why it is so expensive is that for Keyaki tree, it takes at least 70-80 years to grow big enough to be milled and cut down for furniture. Usually, 100-120 year-old Keyaki is used for furniture. After that, grain has to be placed in dry storage for 5-10 years and completely dried. For the preparation, it takes at least 100 years. This is why Keyaki is so variable and appreciated in Japan.
Comments are closed