2008-03-10

Japanese Timber-Framing in Yamanashi-Prefecture

Presented February 1 to a Rotary Club in Chiba-Prefecture, Katsura-City. Chiba-Prefecture is a peninsula just east of Tokyo. Submitted an essay to an essay contest sponsored by the same Rotary club. The topic: the future of the Nanbousou (southern half of the peninsula). My essay states that, given Chiba’s mild climate, plentiful sunshine, abundant natural resources, fertile soils and coastline, strong cultural heritage, and unique location next to Tokyo, Chiba has excellent potential to develop renewable energy sources and attain a high level of food and energy self-sufficiency. I present my essay and participate in a panel discussion on April 13.
February 14 participated in a group discussion of Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposphy, and environmental design at the office of Bio-City magazine, a quarterly Japanese magazine covering ecological design. http://www.biocity.co.jp/ Submitted an article about Camphill Village Kimberton Hills for the April issue of Bio-City featuring Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical design, and the Camphill movement.
March 3 collected data from Waraya, a strawbale home in Yamanashi-Prefecture featured in a previous entry.
In addition to collecting data, I spent the day with Matsuda, a timber framer who works for a company called Kinokaori (direct translation: scent of trees). He spends 80 percent of his work day in the office, designing, researching, and networking, and 20 percent on site. We visited the site where he harvests his lumber. The trees are prepped before and are felled efficiently with the assistance of a backhoe. This is Matsuda’s mentor holding a house plan written in traditional style.
We visited this old local timber-frame shrine. Note how the post is not anchored to the foundation stone. This allows the post to move slightly in the event of an earthquake. Traditional Japanese timber framing is categorized at 柔構造 (soft structure) in contrast to hard modern building which counters earthquakes through rigidity. Matsuda showed me some of the projects he’s worked on.
Presented March 8 at the Architectural Institute of Japan’s Kanto Branch Symposium. Last month submitted an abstract to present a paper at the 7th International Symposium on Architectural Interchanges in Asia. If selected, will present in Beijing in October.
Have been appointed manager of my research studio’s permaculture garden. It’s not related to my research, and I’d like to invest more time and energy in other areas such as research and Japanese studies, but it is mainly Itonaga-sensei, my professor’s decision.

1 comment:

Dave said...

About time you posted:) That's amazing that the post isn't anchored to the foundation, wow. Sounds like you're keeping busy. Any rooftop gardens in your foreseeable future:)