Shaved wood straws Shaved wood straws
Let's save the Earth. Let us all make wood straws 10 million straws projects
  • Plane Shaving, a Japanese Tradition for Nearly 1,500 Years

    "Plane Shaving," a Japanese Tradition for Nearly 1,500 Years

    Plane shaving (kanna-kezuri) dates back as far as the time of Prince Shotoku around 574. One of the tools used in construction at that time is believed to be the origin of the modern plane. The art of planing has continued to this day as an original Japanese tradition.

  • The World's only Shaved Straw

    The World's only Shaved Straw

    Since its founding, Aqura Home, which builds around 2,000 houses a year in Japan, has passed on the "craftsman's spirit" through the traditional planing (kanna-gake) technique. The wooden straws are made by rolling up thin slices of wood into straws at an angle, with the thin shaving of a plane as reference. The development and mass production of wooden straws using this method will be a world-first initiative.

Why don’t we start doing what we can for the earth, starting from a single straw?

An abundance of forests is disappearing from Japan.

An abundance of forests is disappearing from Japan.

About two-thirds of Japan's land consists of forests, making it one of the world's leading forest countries. Forests play a role that is essential to ensure our safety and security, such as securing water sources, preventing landslide disasters, absorbing CO2 and so on. About 40% of Japan's forests are so-called man-made forests grown for the purpose of producing wood, but due to the recent shortage of manpower resources in the forestry industry and the decrease in the number of opportunities to use wood, the number of forests that have become unmanaged is increasing. If left unattended, the leaves will grow in abundance and the soil will become arid and the trees will wither if sunlight does not reach the ground. In addition, in order to prevent withering, it is necessary to thin out the trees periodically, but most of the thinned trees are usually discarded and not used. Therefore, in order to protect the rich and healthy forests, it is necessary to expand the use of domestic wood and thinned wood.

The risk of landslide disasters is increasing for unmanaged forests.

The risk of landslide disasters is increasing for unmanaged forests.

When forests are left alone without being managed, not only will the arid mountains lose its function as a water source, but they will also become prone to landslide disasters. Heavy rain in western Japan in 2018 caused large landslides in various places due to extensive and prolonged rainfall, and a large amount of sediment flowed downstream, with a large amount of sediment flowing downstream, often inundating even urban areas with a large amount of sediment. Besides residential housing, the transportation network was also affected, causing severe damage and impact economically.

Interest in plastic waste is growing all over the world.

Interest in plastic waste is growing all over the world.

In recent years, interest in plastic waste has been increasing as a global environmental problem. In addition to the problem of CO2 emissions due to the incineration of petroleum resources, large amounts of plastic waste are discarded in the sea, exerting a serious impact on the marine environment. Plastic waste has a great impact on the ecosystem due to marine animals and fishes eating it. In recent years, the impact on the human body has also become an issue of concern.

The one you make will save the earth.
The world's first "shaved wood straw"

Smart Alliance Builder Member (SABM) is a company that supplies traditional wooden housing handed down through the ages that are suitable for Japan's climate at a fair price and a high quality befitting the modern era. Being a company that deals mainly in wood, we believe our mission is to implement environmental conservation initiatives to address various social issues occurring in Japan and around the world through the use of "wood".

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These straws were created in 2018 in the wake of media coverage of the damage caused by torrential rains.

Environmental journalist Yuri Takeda came up with the idea of using “wood straws” when she was covering the areas devastated by torrential rains. Thinking that it would help to conserve the forest environment by promoting the use of thinned wood in Japan and the marine environment by solving the problem of plastic waste, she started to turn it into a product jointly with our company.

After countless discussions and prototypes, we succeeded in making the straws by curling thinly shaved wood obliquely, using an age-old technique of craftsmen known as “kannagake” that is indispensable in producing wooden materials to shave the wood thinly. Due to the history of its development, the straw was thus known as a "shaved wood straw". It was the world’s first initiative to develop and mass produce wood straws using this technique.

Attracting global attention - "Shaved wood straw"

Shaved wood straws panel
G20 OSAKA Summit 2019
Environment Award

"Shaved wood straws" were supplied to the G20 Summit and Ministerial Conference, attracting the attention of the dignitaries of each country and the press too. The use of such straws was also reported by the media both in Japan and overseas, attracting interest from all over the world.

2018 ・December Joint announcement with The Capital Hotel Tokyu on the launch of the “Wood Straw Project” and the planning, development, supervision and implementation of “wood straws”
2019 ・January Start of adoption by The Capital Hotel Tokyu
・March Participated in the “Yokohama SDGs Design Center Partnership Forum” organized by the Yokohama SDGs Design Center in Yokohama City
・May "Wood straws" adopted at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministers Meeting, the first one held at the G20 summit in Japan
Exchange of views between Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada (at the time) and President Miyazawa
・June "Wood Straws" adopted at the G20 Ibaraki Tsukuba Trade and Digital Economy Ministers Meeting and G20 Fukuoka Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting
"Wood Straws" adopted at G20 Innovation Exhibition
"Wood Straws" adopted at G20 ministerial meeting on the environment and energy
・July "Wood Straws" adopted at the G20 Osaka Summit
・August Kids’ Design Award 2019
・September Publication of “Wood Straws” in “We Are Tomodachi” issued by the PR Department of the Cabinet Office
Exhibition of “Wood Straws” in “rooms39”
・October Good Design Award 2019 A Product Chosen by Me ? Nominated by the 2019 Good Design Award Review Committee
・November Announcement of shaved wood straws produced in Yokohama as a self-sufficiency model in collaboration with Yokohama City and the Yokohama SDGs Design Center
Wood Design Award 2019 ? Excellence Award, Forestry Agency Director Award

Biodiversity Action Award 2019 ? Green Wave Award

Creating a Sustainable Society Activity Award ? Chairman Award

2020 ・February Commencement of “10 Million Wood Straws Project”
「Exhibition of “wood straws” in “rooms40”

Thinning/Thinned Wood Competition Thinning Promotion Central Council Chairman Award

29th Global Environment Award ? Award by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
・July Start of selection of “Ethical Partners” to spread the use of wood straws together with environmental contribution activities
・August Eriko Horiki (washi maker) / Hirochika Sugimoto (tea-ceremony arbor carpenter) / Eiichi Yokota (kumiko craftsman) / Isaburo Wada (kumiko craftsman) / Haruo Ichimatu (Wajima lacquer) / Yuki Kusumi (plasterer) / Yoshio Hichikuro (gardener)
・October Good Design Award 2020 – Wood straws awarded the Good Design Award two years in a row with the construction of a self-sufficiency model
World’s first straw development undertaken by novice female employees
Publication of documentary book “Wood Straws”
Exhibition of “Wood Straws” in “rooms41”
29th Global Environment Award — Certificate of Commendation from Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
・November "Wood Straws" documentary book ranked no. 1 business book at Maruzen Marunouchi Main Store
Wood straws introduced in JR East Japan Gran Class trains
2021 ・April Exhibition of wood straws at the Wood Change Network event sponsored by the Forestry Agency
・June SDGs environment class at Ritsumeikan Elementary School
Wood straws awarded the OMOTENASHI Selection Special Award and the European Selection Award
・July Exhibition of wood straws made by the "kanna-kezuri" (wood shaving) technique at the Odakyu Department Store OMOTENASHI Selection event
2022 ・January 28 “Wooden Straws”, developed by Aqura Home, will be made into a series on-air by Fuji TV!
・Februay 12 The “Wooden Straws” series, produced by Fuji Television Network
Available for streaming on TVer and FOD after airing / additional cast to be announced
・Februay 22 The “Wooden Straws” series, produced by Fuji Television Network
Production announcement on Monday, February 21, with reruns available on BS Fuji
Fuji TV: Saturday, February 26, 15:30-16:30
BS Fuji: Sunday, March 6, 18:00-19:00
Februay 28 The “Wooden Straws” series, produced by Fuji Television Network, is finally available on-air!
TVer/FOD streaming will be available until Friday, March 11 after airing
Reruns on BS Fuji will be available on Sunday, March 6, 18:00-19:00

How to make a "wooden straw" with a plane

How to make a wooden straw with a plane

Click here for a video of how it's made

Click here to purchase shaved wood straws