Short film – 白炭 Hakutan

17. September 2019

We travelled to Wakayama in 2018 and met with the Binchotan craftsmen and women we have been working with for the past decade. We learned about how the craft is slowly fading away, as young people are moving to bigger cities. We made this film to showcase this very special Japanese craft and to tell the story of the craftspeople behind it.

For centuries, artisans in Japan’s Wakayama region have turned oak branches into Binchotan, a type of activated charcoal known for its purifying properties and its white hue.

The raw material is harvested in such a way that it promotes rapid and fertile regrowth, ensuring that a healthy eco-system is still in place after centuries of traditional White Charcoal production.

Many thanks to Julius Ersnt and Kanae Olsen for their help.