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Bamboo

In the eyes of the elder generation, bamboo has been regarded as a treasure bestowed to the Taiwanese by Heaven. In the past, it had played a significant role in Taiwanese daily life. The elements of bamboo were prevalent in eating, clothing, life style, transportation, education and entertainment. The utilization of bamboo products was extensive, ranging from cradles for the newborn, baby seats for infants, home furniture to agricultural and fishing appliances, which were created by the combination of traditional wisdom and abundant bamboo resources in Taiwan. Taiwan is endowed with a wide variety of quality bamboo species, and it is the only region in the world that possesses both tropical and temperate bamboo. Its major economic crops include Makino Bamboo, Ma Bamboo, Thorny Bamboo, Long-branch Bamboo, Giant Timber and Moso Bamboo. Most of them were used as building materials or produced into various bamboo products such as curtains, mats, or swords exporting to Korea and Japan. Makino Bamboo is particularly durable and resilient because of its best flexural strength and delicate texture. In fact, by virtue of the innate privilege of rich primitive bamboo species, the shinais for practice and competition in the world are all made in Zhushan Town of Nantou County. Japan has been an economic artery of this little town as its principal export market. Moreover, the application of fine Taiwanese primitive bamboo species has been expanded in recent years. In addition to conventional daily commodities, the emergent trend of creative design has brought forth innovative bamboo products born with eco consciousness, practicality and visual aesthetics, such as bamboo optical frames, flashlights, and magnifying glass, which attempts to seek new opportunities for the declining bamboo industry. Bamboo takes a great part of Taiwanese’s life since ancient times and recorded relevant cultural traces. Meanwhile, the rise of designing concepts and environmentalism has facilitated consumers’ attention to eco-friendly bamboo materials. As such, the position of Taiwanese bamboo crafts have transformed from a manufacturing point of view into a pursuit of lifestyle luxuries in a new fashion of “Taiwanese Bauhaus”. The layered bamboo knots, sophisticated bamboo weaving, delicate pores in its transverse section along with a modernist touch have altogether turned Taiwanese bamboo into a trendy symbol signifying a new attitude for a green, elegant and in-depth life.

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