On his YouTube channel, traditional Japanese sculptor 髙場正良 Masayoshi Takaba introduces his gorgeous creations.

Takaba works exclusively in wood, carving beautiful and intricate decorative pieces for palanquins and floats paraded at matsuri festivals, as well as inside shrines and temples.

You can appreciate his gorgeous work in this video:

The woodcarving creation in this video is designed to be featured in the 狭間 sama area of a float paraded in one of the local Banshu Aki Matsuri (fall festivals) held in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture.

Here is the completed float featuring Takaba's woodwork:

In the video, you can see how a flat slab of Hinoki cypress gradually turns into a three-dimensional sculpture. Not only is it fascinating to watch it take form, but the sound of the wood being shaved is also addictive.

The scene is inspired by a famous episode from Japanese mythology described in the Kojiki in which the sun goddess Amaterasu and her brother Susanoo are engaged in a trial by pledge. In the ritual, the two gods each chew and spit out an object owned by the other, thereby creating new gods in the process.

In another carving, you can see Takaba creating a gorgeous relief carving of a dragon:

You can't help but hold your breath when you see him work on the small and thin parts.

Probably as a result of Takaba's skill, he makes multiple boards glued together to look seamless as if they had been a single board from the beginning.

Lastly, we would like to show you a video of Takaba carving a samurai helmet from a single piece of wood, which took about two weeks to make.

Just as with many of his other videos, people from around the world expressed praise and admiration for his handiwork, leaving comments such as:

  • "A stunning display of exceptional talent"
  • "You are incredibly gifted"
  • "The amount of fine details is amazing"
  • "Your work is mesmerizing"

If you'd like to see more, subscribe to his channel, follow him on Twitter and Instagram and visit his website.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.