These poles are of kitayama sugi, Japanese Cedar, from the enclave of Kitayama.
These are of particular use in construction of traditional teahouses.
I have visited the Takayama Museum of Carpentry Tools in Kobe on several
occassions. If you are ever in Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, etc.) it is a
must see. About half a block from Shin-Kobe JR train station.
This picture was taken in the basement of the museum, showing the construction
of a teahouse.
It is amazing what can be accomplished with a few simple tools.
The hatchet, nata in Japanese, is a powerful tool, from removing branches, to
bark removal, even pointing the ends of the bole to protect it from damage.
The use of wedges to put a lengthwise split in the log is a common thing in
Japan. Better to create a split where you want it than to have one appear at
random as the wood air dries. There is always one "face" unseen once in use