1) A large evergreen tree (Chamaecyparis obtusa) native to Japan and east Asia. Japanese cypress produce a high quality reddish-brown wood with a pleasing frangrance. The timber is valued for its fine-grain texture, luster, and durability. Hinoki cypress has been used to build Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, furniture, screens, and sculptures.
2) The sawara cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) of Japan is also known as a Japanese cypress. Commonly used for bonsai, the fragrant white wood has been carved into small decorative items.
Synonyms and Related Terms
false cypress; hinoki (Jap.); sawara (Jap.); ihinoki (Jap.); Chamaecyparis obtusa formosensis (Taiwan red cypress); Chamaecyparis obtusa (Japanese cypress, Taiwan yellow cypress); Chamaecyparis pisifera (sawara cypress); cyprès du Japon, hinoki faux cyprès (Fr;); cipresso giapponese (It.)
Resources and Citations
- Nagasawa. et al, ICOM preprints, Lyons, p. 434
- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "False Cypress." Accessed 1 Sept. 2004.
- Japanese connection: http://www.thejapaneseconnection.com/Glossary/cypress.htm
- Museum of the Japanese Traditional Arts at http://www.nihon-kogeikai.com/ (Jap. term)