Monday, May 03, 2010


KAKISHIBU


Sogyu came by late Friday afternoon with the kakishibu we ordered-- enough intensified persimmon peel juice to treat the whole deck, two coats. Yesterday, therefore, after two cloudy but rainless days and one sunny morning had dried out the deck real well, I started kakishibuing. (Feel free to use this newly coined verb, which I hereby donate to the public domain.)

Kakishibu has an interesting fragrance-- an organic smell, sort of astringent; not like you'd want to drink it, but not that sensibly toxic volatile smell of the standard wood treatment stuff. Brushing on kakishibu is like painting with thin red wine. It's reddish and watery on the brush, but not deadly at all; no need to wear gloves to protect your skin, safety goggles to protect your eyes, mask to preserve your general existence, no hazmat suit for optimal protection from unspecified mutational possibilities.

It's safe for kids to later run around on barefoot and basically will not kill you, now or unto seven generations. There is no need for skull and crossbones on the container, or instructions on what to do if you should get it on your person, in your eyes or ingest it, god forbid, no big red letters saying BE SURE TO KEEP IT OFF YOUR SKIN KEEP IT AWAY FROM YOU AND ANY OTHER LIVING THING, DO NOT BREATHE THE FUMES OMIGOD WHAT IS THAT... Kakishibu doesn't beget horror movie thoughts or smell like a chemical weapons factory when you're finished treating the house you have to live in afterwards. Whatever sour-winish smell there is is gone quickly.

The first coat makes the wood a bit darker, the second that much darker and so on till you reach the desired shade, but it even looks organic somehow, and on lighter wood quite interesting, colorwise. It doesn't do anything unnatural and you could eat off of it if you were so minded-- had no plates, real simple living, whatever. It came in three two-liter recycled PET bottles Sogyu kindly sold us from out of his major stash of the stuff he gets from an old Kyoto kakishibu store he frequents.

I recommend kakishibu for treating any wood you need treated. It may be about double the cost of deadly poison, but it has considerable advantages, many beyond price, such as extended longevity of home, self and family. Nice to stay around, see your kids grow up normally and so on.

Kakishibu serves way beyond the small print.


9 comments:

Tabor said...

I AM envious. I have reached that time in my life when I can no longer do staining or be around when it is done as I get an allergic reaction. You are a wise old man.

R. Brady said...

I don't think you'd get a reaction to kakishibu... It's just intense persimmons...

Entre Nous said...

Naturally, never heard of it, but it sounds simply wonderful for the sections of fencing I found beyond the pumpkin field and will be using around a pond. Is one able to order it from the states?

I use gentian violet, an herbal antiseptic solution, much like iodine only prettier!) to stain linen for needle work.

R. Brady said...

Entre Nous, the link in the post (last line) leads to an earlier post of mine on kakishibu that contains this link http://www.kakishibui.com/, which is in Washington State in the US. By the way, kakishibu is also traditionally used to dye cloth, as you'll find in "About us" etc. (w/photos) at that link...

Mary Lou said...

Well! I was just gonna say it is going to be hard to find over here, but since your comment told me it is close by, I may check it out!

Mary Lou said...

just went to their website and they are right over THERE!! about 30 miles away!

R. Brady said...

Kakishibu is closer to you than to me!

Entre Nous said...

Whoa, fabric as well, yup count me in on ordering. Hopefull it can be shipped here. In searching for pond chemicals I have discovered that some states will not ship certain things here, even if the stuff is non-toxic.

And you may still call me Joni!

R. Brady said...

Ok, Joni; hope you can get some kakishibu. If you do, please post the results on yr blog...