Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chopstick canoe

You know those disposable wooden chopsticks you get in Japanese restaurants? The ones attached at the top end that you have to break apart? Well, as you can imagine, in Japan they are used (and thrown away) in great quantity.

Shuhei Ogawara, a former municipal employee in the Japanese city of Koriyama, had been working with the local forestry industry, and it disturbed him to see so much wood going to waste. So he spent two years rescuing thousands of used waribashi (as they are called). He glued 7,382 of them together to form a canoe shell, which he then made watertight with a polyester resin.

The canoe will be launched (Ogawara is confident it will float) in May 2008 at Lake Inawashiro, not far from Koriyama.

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