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 Post subject: Rosewood Go bowls - ok to buy again?
Post #1 Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:02 am 
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Background:

Several years ago, an international body called CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) banned exports and international sales of most rosewood items. This was done because rosewood was being harvested from Africa in perverse amounts for furniture production. Owning rosewood items was not prohibited, Neither was buying rosewood items, as long as you bought them domestically. The restriction applied to moving rosewood internationally.

There were several unintended consequences.
-- When you ban something, if often doesn't stop whatever you are trying to stop, but instead drives it underground where other seedy aspects reveal themselves. That ended up being the case in certain west African countries.
-- The musical instrument industry was hit particularly hard. Not only did sales decline by millions of dollars, but musicians traveling with their own rosewood guitar or clarinet or whatever risked having it confiscated in customs.
-- People who collect antiques - old, small items that have nothing to do with current furniture-focused rosewood demand - encountered great problems buying internationally.


2019 Exemptions:

It seems in late 2019, the musician community raised enough of a stink that they got musical instruments exempted from the ban, as well as other finished products less than 10kg in weight. This may be having an impact on Go equipment as well.

Several years ago, rosewood Go bowls disappeared from many vendor websites. Asian websites that did have rosewood bowls for sale had a warning for international buyers that they were prohibited from shipping internationally. Until recently, that is. These warnings have largely disappeared.

So maybe we will rosewood Go bowls around more.

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 Post subject: Re: Rosewood Go bowls - ok to buy again?
Post #2 Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:05 pm 
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I do not know what any of this means but here is a rosewood bowl from Miwa:

https://www.miwagobanten.com/SHOP/uhs2.html

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David Bogie, Boise ID
I play go, I ride a recumbent, of course I use Macintosh.

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 Post subject: Re: Rosewood Go bowls - ok to buy again?
Post #3 Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:03 am 
Dies in gote

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It might be true that bans won't stop the trade in endangered species, but a decline in interest them will. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply stop buying luxury items made from endangered species. Overexploitation of rosewood is not only endangering this tree species, but all the wildlife that depends on it, many of them being species of birds.

Thanks for raising awareness! :tmbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Rosewood Go bowls - ok to buy again?
Post #4 Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:02 pm 
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http://shop.kurokigoishi.co.jp/en/item/2725

Kuroki has rosewood bowls in their inventory for 2 million+ yen, US$15,000-20,000.

“ National Treasure of Japan wood craftsman Mr. Kawakita Ryozo made Shitan (rosewood) Go bowls. These Shitan (rosewood) Go bowls boast thin stripes carved on the lid and the front side of the body, using a special technique called "Sen-suji". Sen-suji is a traditional technique of carving multiple thin grooves so that player's fingers will be able to hold a bowl that has smooth texture. While pursuing practicality and ultimate beauty, it was designed to be held by hand easily when the bowl contains Go stones and get heavy. "Sen-suji" stripe patterns slightly vary. Mr. Kawakita says, "I made slightly different groove patterns for each bowl followed by my spirit and feeling."

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I play go, I ride a recumbent, of course I use Macintosh.

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