In “Magemono” or bentwood work, thin sheets of Japanese cedar or cypress (both softwoods) are softened even further by soaking them in hot water. This allows them to be “bent” or shaped into a cylinders or ovals when they are commonly used as the sides for for food and liquid storage containers.
Cedar and cypress wood are ideal because of their flexibility, heat and moisture retention properties. The wood also has antiseptic qualities too, making it ideal for food storage such as rice and bento boxes. The light colour of the wood gives these
Odate Bentwood Work
An area famous for magemono is the Odate region in the Akita prefecture of Japan where they have established their own technique of “Odate Bentwood” or “magewappa” in Japanese.