Sydney Morning Herald magazine
“In Perigord and Piedmont they hunt for truffles. In Botswana and the Congo they dig for diamonds. But in Vietnam, it’s carbonised tree trunks that can make a person fabulously wealthy.
“Finding one good tree can set a person up for life,” says Yohei Yamada of Yamada Matsu Koboku, a 200-year-old store in Kyoto that buys the trunks, cuts them up and sells the chips at up to ¥30,000 ($400) a gram.
If you’re thinking you’d rather have an iPod than a thimble’s worth of wood, that’s because you don’t practise kodo, the Japanese art of incense.”