As the problem of abandoned homes grows more serious across Japan, innovators are devising methods to repurpose aged wood from houses and run-down merchant buildings to give it a second life as modern timber products.

A think tank in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, where industry flourished in premodern times thanks to shipping trade and mining operations, has embarked on a project to make practical use of the quality wood used to construct many houses in the region.

The company, called Everyplan, is involved in revitalizing the Chugoku region by demolishing old traditional homes to prepare the wood for processing. Japan faces major issues because of its aging society and population drain in rural areas.