Sunday, May 18, 2014

Local architecture

Japan, despite its reputation for concrete, is still a woodworker's paradise, with amazing structures and wooden ware easily found.  In my neighborhood here is the beautifully restored house compound.

One detail is the charred wooden fence boards.  This was an old method of preserving planks and I wish I knew more about exactly how its done.

Right across the street is this other lovely house.  Note the garden within the front wall.  There is a matching garden in back.  Turns out the building, a 140-year old house, is now home to a graphic design studio.  One of the staff saw me admiring the place and invited me in.

Except for the entryway they have left this house largely undisturbed.  Here's a hall connecting rooms flanking the larger garden in the back.

Lovely detail to a transom.

The kitchen is still circa 1970's?

And the soaring beadwork above.  This would have been to facilitate smoke from the original cooking fires (there may or may not have been an actual chimney) so these walls would have been black from soot.  Cleaning this up was probably the biggest job of the whole restoration.

And the design office in a traditional setting.  You can see the garden behind.

In the attic the massive beadwork, plus some kind of object nailed to the highest post by the carpenters.


  1. - there is probably a more traditional way!

  2. The HP below shows how to make charred cedar boards in traditional way. Please check it out. You will be able to see what they are doing from photos in sequence. They make three charred ones once with just a ignited newspapar, done for about five minutes, using chimney draft. It's cool.