|▲ Pyeonbaek Mari / CEO Lee Hak-yong|
(PowerKorea) Mountains take 70% of Korean land. There is at least one mountain when you look around whether city or country. While mountains are abundant, Koreans have climbed since long time ago for a living probably in the past and for resting and refreshing today. In the forest, we feel calm and peaceful. Science-wise, this is because phytoncide from plants makes us feel at ease. Among many trees, fire tree is known to contain phytoncide the most.
Fire tree is a native tree of Japan and they call it hinoki. Fire tree is found in Jeju and the southern part of the mainland Korea but the Japanese ones are the best quality-wise. Japan’s fire tree drying technique in particular is far excellent that nobody could possibly surpass.
Lee Hak-yong, CEO of Pyeonbaek Mari, has worked in the furniture industry for 30 years. He was charmed by fire tree 10 years ago and started importing the top quality Japanese fire tree from 6 years ago to make environmentally healthy fire tree furniture in South Korea.
It was late March last month I visited the showroom in Namyangju City. The delicate and fresh fire tree scents instantly greeted me the moment when I stepped into the showroom. Feeling clean and clear, I looked around to find beds, closets, desks, baths and sinks all made of fire tree. Lee then appeared in the middle of the furniture with younger countenance than his age. I thought that probably is because of the fire tree around him.
“Fire trees in Okama and Miyazaki are the best among all fire trees in Japan and I use them only. It has been long since Japanese lived in wooden house and their fire tree processing technique is second to none especially the drying technique that has no cracks or curves afterwards and the scent that lasts long. Fire tree is known to help relax body and ease inflammation and ward off insects” says Lee.
Lee and 15 furniture masters at Pyeonbaek Mari manage from import of the top quality Japanese fire trees to processing, production and distribution without intermediary dealers, the reason the prices are also good. A single bed in the showroom, for example, will cost you only 200,000 won (179 USD).
Pyeonbaek Mari furniture is made by hands but not by mass producing machines. The mastery skills of their hands are naturally melted in each product they make with greater detail and attention regardless size and shape of the furniture ordered by clients.
“There are many fake fire trees circulating in the market. So, it is important for you to check the origin of the material and product as well as the conditions of the wood. One good thing is to see whether there are knots. More than 70 year old fire trees have no knots” tips Lee.
Wood is one of the most natural materials we can choose to live with and around. If you feel tired of concrete and chemically processed materials, it might be a good idea to start with fire tree furniture in your house.
Pyeongbaek means fire tree in Korean and mari is a pure Korean word for head. Lee named it to mean the leader of fire tree furniture in South Korea.
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