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Research on Historical Changes in Forest Resources and Their Uses Based on the Analysis of National Museum of Ethnology Collection: Focusing on the Wood Materials of Tubs and Barrels

Research period:2022.10-2025.3



Scientific studies on cultural properties,Ethnobotany,Tree species identification


The purpose of this study is to identify the species of wood in specimens of wood materials in the collection of the National Museum of Ethnology using nondestructive analysis and to use the results as the basis for a discussion of the historical events that occurred in the forests of the regions from which the wood originated.
The specimens in the collection of the National Museum of Ethnology include a diverse assortment of objects made of wood. However, very little information is available on the types (species) of trees used to make the objects. In this study, we focus on specimens of wood from the National Museum of Ethnology collection—mainly tubs and barrels collected from around the Japanese archipelago—to (1) carefully examine and analyze the specimen materials; (2) understand the historical background and current status of their production and use; and (3) examine forest ecology and optimal approaches to forest resource utilization. By correlating these approaches, I then try to develop a method for identifying tree species in specimen materials using nondestructive analysis, to grasp the features of processes that enable wood to be used as the perfect material for the needed function and application, and to get a broader view of the sustainability of the relationship between people and forests in a recycling-oriented society.