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In Japanese culture and arts, charcoal has developed in its own special way

Charcoal is made all over the world. Wherever wood is found, so is charcoal. Chinese uses the same character as Japanese("mountain" on top of "ashes"), while the Korean for charcoal is fu. the French say charbon, the Germans Holzkohle, and both Russian and Tagalog (the Philippines) have words for charcoal. The technique of making Japan's binchotan charcoal, the finest charcoal in the archipelago, is said to have come from China. The Japanese, however, have a strong impression that charcoal was first created in ancient Japan, a view strongly influenced by the fact that Japan is a wood based culture. Here, there appears to be more than just impressions at work. Japanese charcoal comes in many varieties, its quality has been refined over time, and it is very suited to the preparation of Japan's subtle cuisine. All this provides a factual basis for the belief that charcoal is a unique product of Japanese culture. So let us look at the characteristics of the charcoal uniquely developed by the Japanese, in particular, the characteristics of binchotan charcoal, often used for grilling.

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