November 25-26 helped Sano-san with the re-thatching of his 300 year old home.
Last spring I helped Sano-san with the thatching of the hira (平), the plane of the roof. This time work was done on the mune (棟), the ridge.
November 21-22 attended a thatching workshop in Gokayama (五箇山), Toyama Prefecture sponsored by the Japan Thatch Roof Culture Association directed by Professor Kunihiro Ando of Tsukuba University. Gokayama is famous for it’s thatch roofs, and as a result, is a world cultural heritage Center.
Structure of thatch roof characteristic of Gokayama. In order to secure the ridge thatching, two poles cross under the ridge as opposed to Shirakawago's (白川郷) single pole. Notice the structure is lashed together with straw rope, vines, and small young trees twisted and beaten into lash.Cedar Bark Used as Siding
Hiro, who is professionally trained as a carpenter, is the founder and director of the NPO Toyama Straw Bale House Association. Hiro is also active in promoting environmental education.
Last fall helped Hiroaki Yoshimoto with the construction of a straw bale building in Toyama Prefecture.Hiro Notching Bales with a Chainsaw
The building is being constructed with the assistance of the owners Naosuke and Akane Teranishi and will function as an antique store.Akane Stuffing Gap with Straw
Naoske Tying BaleMore photos are details are available at the following websites:
Naosuke and Akane import and sell European antiques. The name of the building and store is “Leyenda”, and was named after my favorite classical guitar piece, originally written by Issac Albeniz for piano and transcribed for guitar by Andre Sagovia.
Leyenda Blog (at the bottom of the page, click on the arrow to the right to see previous posts)
November 6 and 7 attended a forestry workshop as a part of the Japan Minka Revival Association's Minka School.
December 10, attended a joinery workshop in Satte (幸手), Saitama-Prefecture.
September 15 met with Mr. Iimura of Ginza Farm. Ginza is Japan’s version Manhattan’s 5th avenue. Ginza Farm is involved with rooftop gardening, environmental education, and connecting rural producers and primary urban consumers. The following is an article from Nihon University's 桜縁 magazine.