The excellence of Aomori Hiba (Hinokiasunaro) in its use as building materials of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines

Biocontrol Sci. 2006 Jun;11(2):49-54. doi: 10.4265/bio.11.49.


Five hinokitiol-related compounds (hinokitiol (beta-thujaplicin), beta-dolabrin, gamma-thujaplicin, 4-acetyltropolone and alpha -thujaplicin) isolated from the acid oil of Aomori Hiba (Thujopsis dolabrata Sieb. et Zucc. var hondai MAKINO) showed clear antifungal activity against wood-rotting fungi. These compounds have obvious insecticidal effects on termites. They also exhibited potent acaricidal activity against mites. The above-mentioned features suggest that Konjiki-do, a well known national treasure, one of the buildings in Chuson-ji Temple of Iwate Prefecture, Japan, which was built of wood from the tree containing these five compounds, was kept from harm against noxious insects and wood-rotting fungi for a long time of about 840 years, until it was extensively repaired in 1962. In addition to Konjiki-do, there are some old famous Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines using Aomori Hiba. From the results, it was found that Aomori Hiba (Hinokiasunaro) is excellent for use as building materials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Buddhism*
  • Cupressaceae / chemistry*
  • Fungicides, Industrial / chemistry
  • Fungicides, Industrial / isolation & purification
  • Insecticides / chemistry
  • Insecticides / isolation & purification
  • Japan
  • Molecular Structure
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Monoterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification
  • Tropolone / analogs & derivatives
  • Tropolone / chemistry
  • Tropolone / isolation & purification
  • Wood*


  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Insecticides
  • Monoterpenes
  • Plant Oils
  • Tropolone
  • beta-thujaplicin