This week’s blog is a shout out to my first company in the wood business, Maruhon of Japan, which I visited yesterday. I haven’t been able to come by for about three years and it was wonderful to see so many old friends and as always, such amazing quality of wood.
My experiences at Maruhon provided the foundation for my industry work today. I started out as a lumber buyer and that way I learned all about supply options and wood types from all around the world. I also learned how to travel—spending up to three months continuously on the road. And of course Japan started to limit formaldehyde emissions long before the rest of the world and I went through the whole craziness there. When I returned to the US, I was much relieved that I wouldn’t have to deal with formaldehyde anymore.
You all know how well that worked out for me.
Anyway, Maruhon has transitioned from doing mostly lumber to focusing heavily on flooring. I was pleased to see a lot of FSC and even PEFC material in the warehouses. I also, as always enjoyed the walk through the showroom and admiring all the multitude of options and species available. And of course admiring again their focus on presenting science and factual information to the customer—about a third of the showroom is devoted to a mini lab, where they do taber tests, show finishing techniques, cover moisture content issues and demonstrate repair techniques.
If you are in Japan, they are a must visit for any wood professional. And while there, be sure to go to Komasa, one of the finest restaurants in Japan. They celebrate their 50th anniversary next year—I think I will have to return for that party!
Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.