April 28 we had a 焼杉 (yakisugi) workshop at our research studio. "Yaki" means to burn, and "Sugi" is Japanese Cedar. Yakisugi is a traditional method of preserving wood by scorching its surface.



April 25th attended a thatch roofing workshop in Yamanashi-Prefecture. Sano-san (佐野氏) is rethatching a 300 year old Japanese farm house. The original bamboo and unmilled lumber rafters are lashed together with straw rope and wisteria vines. Sano-san raises ayu () fish, grows rice, and produces tea for income. The tools used.



April 24th attended a takekomai (竹小舞) workshop in Fujino, Kanagawa. Traditionally, takekomai is the bamboo lattice base of earthen plaster walls.



April 9-11 traveled to Asahikawa, Hokkaido to meet with Toby, Maiko, Noda-san, Jinnouchi-san and Takigami-san regarding the finish coat for Square One. Noda-san brought samples he produced using Tosa-shikkui (土佐漆喰). The sample on the left is the finish coat of Tosa-shikkui. The sample on the right shows the layers leading up to the finish coat. Tosa-shikkui is a traditional lime plaster from Kochi Prefecture, famous for its typhoons and the Tosa-shikkui that withstands them. Its yellow color comes from straw fibers mixed with the lime.
More photos and details can be found on Toby's blog.



April 3-4 traveled to Handa (半田) in Aichi Prefecture. Installed temperature and relative humidity sensors in the straw bale walls of Itayama/Kankaku-no-Ie (板山・感覚の家). The project is lead by Hideto Oshima (大島秀斗氏) of the Straw Bale Project. Oshima-san (above) points to a chart depicting the various custom made bales for the project. The owner of the home, Naoki Matsumoto (松本直樹氏), is on the left.The project is a renovation of an existing steel framed building.