Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Stone and Wood-Kanazawa

For our recent holiday we went back to Kanazawa, since the garden there took all of our last day in the city, and there were so many other things to see.  Catherine is sure to blog about the 21st Century Museum, which she visited while I was visiting the castle.  A friend had told me a 14-year restoration had just been finished.  The price tag was about 40 million dollars.

An enormous new gate, all of keyaki.

The gatehouse, just finished last year.

One of the window openings for defense.  The trap door in the floor is for dropping stones on anyone climbing the walls.

A view of one of the same defensive window.

The main gate is clad in iron banding.

The castle did a great job of interpreting the timber framing that went in to the restoration.  Here a glass panel in the floor exposed the joinery of the joist structure and post base.

Wedged through tenons on the stair treads.

It said the carpenters built models of all the structures before rebuilding them in order to better understand the complexities.

The main hall of the castle, used for storage.

A view from one of the towers.

This square timber locked a rafter (running diagonally) to a central beam.  I've never seen anything like this, and they were in the framing at the four corners of this tower.

Overview of the inner castle.

Stone steps in Kanazawa's old neighborhood.

It was suggested we visit the Kanazawa Institute of Traditional Crafts.  This is a school with a three year curriculum in a variety of building trades, with five to fifteen students in each.  The training is in the evenings and on weekends.  This was the timber framing shop.

A pair of drawings on plywood of buildings.

A studio for plastering.

A stone in the foreground, waiting to be sawn...

...and a roof mocked up waiting to be tiled.

Tatami making.

Copper work for gutters...

...and post bases.

A view of the facility.  The school has been in existence for twenty years, but this facility is just three years old.  Its is supported entirely by the City of Kanazawa.  We were told there is enough restoration work in Kyoto that firms can offer in-house apprentice programs, but Kanazawa found itself losing skilled tradespeople, so they established this program.  I am sure the training takes some burden off builders who don't have to devote as much time and energy to training when they can hire graduates.

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