Japanese have been producing wood for 700 years without cutting down trees
Timber framed construction in Europe was nailless (wooden tree nails permitted) but the mortice and tenon joinery of Japan is in another league. Maybe European Gothic cathedral roofs come close, little else would.
Japan modernised in the modern era, it's industrial revolution was comparatively recent and it remained feudal far longer than Europe (Russian serfdom aside)
There are probably more continuous family heritage firms in Japan practising some art (brewing, soy sauce, woodwork, coppicing) than anywhere else. Can you name a European family concern doing the same thing continuously since before 1600? I can't name any Japanese ones but I wouldn't be surprised if there were many. Institutional enterprises like Oxford university press exist since deep time, but in Japan it would be a continuous lineage of printers continuing to use woodblock printing (maybe alongside hot type or photo typesetting)
Farming does remain in the family but European farming practices have modernised since forever.
This is a hack to circumvent the no lumbering rule. As far as im aware, similar rules never were applied in europe, just all things chopped down, and then some state forrests and macchia.
And since we're talking about doing cool things with trees, I just wanted to mention that LTM has more interesting articles slightly "adjacent" to this topic, like this one about a half-forgotten technique for growing citrus trees in climates with freezing temperatures:
It seems like this ancient practice can not fulfil Japan's timber demand.
I've not only seen the results but I've actually pulled the wood out of their dams by hand when I disassemble them to prevent them from flooding my driveway. It's not that hard to do so long as you keep the water level low. Once the water level gets high they get a lot more productive because they can easily float large amounts of wood.
Sidenote/tangent: why put a chat modal on a blog? I don't get it. It takes up valuable mobile real estate and I'm sure the desktop UX is not improved.
Japanese forests are currently suffering an intense demand and are overexploited.
A large part of the cuts are undeclared or under-declared, and clear cuts are not rare.
Undeclared overexploitation of mountain top forests has been one of the determined causes of some catastrophic landslides a couple of years ago.
@dang would it be possible to update the title in order to convey the meaning that it is one fabulous technique used in Japan, without letting believe that it is the technique used in Japan?