Week 1: Bamboo cutting

Our workcamp is devided into 2 1-week “tasks”. During the first week we work with Wata-san, a professional logger, to help clear some of the bamboo trees from Iwami Ginzan. 

I have not taken many psychology classes, so please pardon my poor usage of the word, but the first few days I did have some congitive dissonance when our schedule said “Enviromental Work”, and the day involved chopping down beautiful bamboo tries and putting them in a wood chipper. I wondered if, coming from the US, I had preconceived notions of bamboo trees as being more pristine and holy (I’m thinking of the background to my favorite fight scenes from crouching tiger, hidden dragon), whereas in reality, they’re quite weed-like, growing very quickly and blocking out the other trees for sun.

Somedays we would get additional volunteers, and on one day, children from the local school came by to help us. It was a lot of fun, maybe just because they were super cute.


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