In 2015, we invited Yoshinobu Shibata and his son, Yoshimasa Shibata, from Odate, Akita in northern Japan to share their tradition in bent woodcrafts called magewappa. The cedar from Akita cedar forests is stripped, boiled, bent and tied together with bark from cherry trees. For hundreds of years, wood workers in the region have been known to make bentwood products that are thin, durable and slightly cedar scented.
Yoshinobu and Yoshimasa offered multiple workshops to make magewappa bento boxes at the Workshop Residence, Izakaya Rintaro and at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco. They also held public demonstrations at the local schools and institutions in Sonoma, CA.