京都府左官技能専修学院 Kyoto's Plastering Tradition

かまど Japanese Cook Stove
June 17 and 18 visited Kyoto's Plastering School.  So impressed that I'm actually considering making some significant changes to attend the two year course beginning next April. This would mean giving up some work, interesting projects, income and freedom for two years, but the quality of the content and tradition is worth it, I feel.  This is a dying tradition, and might not be around forever.  Also, have to thank Tokyo's Watahiki-san for the introduction and inviting me along.  He's been an incredible advocate for plastering in Tokyo.
鍛造の事例 Process of forging trowels by hand
水捏ね Mizugone Finish (no seaweed glue)
紙スサ Preparing paper fibers for Kyomigaki plaster
Sifting clay through 80 and 150 screens.

After the course on the 17th, we visited Okuda-san's work site.  Okuda-san is regarded as the godfather of traditional plastering in Kyoto.
奥田さんの現場での下地窓 Okuda-san's Work
きれいな角 Exterior Shitaji Window
外壁の水捏ねの肌 Exterior Finish
室内の下地窓 Interior Shitaji Window
室内の水捏ねの肌 Interior Finish
On the 18th visited the Kyoto Plastering School again, Kodaiji Temple, and Yamamoto-san's office.  Yamamoto-san is a renown plasterer and also teaches at the Kyoto Plastering School.

高台寺の茶室 Tea House at Kodaiji Temple

高台寺の庭 Rock Garden at Kodaiji Temple

龍 Dragon

きれいな事務所です The wall outside Yamamoto-san's office



June 13-16 prepared for a straw bale workshop at Duniyama Hill, Kimino Town, Wakayama Prefecture.  The owner-architect-builder is Akira Yamaguchi, a stage lighting designer by profession.

山口あきらさん Akira YAMAGUCHI

発酵している地元の土 Fermenting local clay soil

Mixer and shredder

あきらさんが建てた畳ハウス Hut constructed of tatami straw mats, bamboo, and earth

地元の土塀 Local stone wall with earth mortar


日本の左官文化・技術を海外に伝えている都倉達弥さん Exploring the World of Plastering, Tatsuya Tokura

June 5th met with Tatsuya Kokura, a young sakan craftsman originally from Tokyo but trained with Harada-san in Oita Prefecture for 5 years.  Last month Tatsuya returned from a year abroad, having worked in 11 countries in Europe and Africa. He's now collecting his travels into a book and next month will travel to Kyoto to go deeper in Japan's plastering tradition. I look forward to his next report!


Wallah ストローベイルハウス 軽井沢

On June 3 finished the exterior plaster of Wallah, a timber frame home incorporating straw bales and earthen plasters in Karuizawa, Nagano.
The architect and designer is Goichi Oiwa of Slow Design Research Group.


Interior finish completed last September

竹小舞と土壁の内装 Bamboo lattice and earthen plaster interior

真実の窓 Truth Window

Left over straw bales used as garden mulch in Tetsu's garden


On the final day there a home warming party and sea shells where placed in the exterior plaster.



日本でのアースバック建築 Earthbag Construction in Japan

The following earthbag structures were built by Permaculturist Michi-san.
ゲストハウス シャンティクティ Guesthouse Shantikuthi

下の動画は建設の記録です The video below describes the construction

穂高養生園 Hotaka Yojoen

安曇野でのパーマカルチャー Permaculture in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture

On Friday, June 1 Kazuko and I visited friends Masumi and Sawako in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture.  It reminds me a bit of Sedona, AZ: natural beauty, gathering of interesting folk, kind of touristy.  Visited Shalom hutte, Guesthouse Shantikuthi, and Hotaka Yojoen.
穂高養生園 Hotaka Yojoen
 This building was designed by Takahiro Yamada and built by Michi.  I don't know Michi's last name, but I had the chance to meet and speak with him briefly.  He's quite an incredible builder.
敷居 threshold
 Nice tile work
 These small guesthouses were also designed by Yamada-sensei. この建物も山田先生によって設計されました。

シャロムヒュッテ Shalom hutte
 Making Soya Sauce

ゲストハウス シャンティクティ Guesthouse Shantikuthi

Permaculturist Kenji Usui
 かまどとアースオーブンの組み合わせ Combination Japanese style cook stove and earthen oven
 日本ミツバチ Japanese Honeybees
 籾殻炊飯器 Rice Hull Rice Cooker
ストローベイル玄関 Straw Bale Entrance