Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hida No Sato

Before we left Takayama we walked over to Hida No Sato, a faux traditional Japanese village made up of old farm houses moved there from around the Hida area.

While it is very cold here near the Japanese Alps, they still opt for paper walls...

What distinguishes these buildings is their steep roofs built to easily shed the two meters of snow that accumulates over winter each year.

Inside the roofs were usually thatched or shingled and lashed together.

The homes had a few rooms each, with a central open fireplace and cooking hook suspended above it. A fire, or embers, were always burning to maintain the moisture content inside and keep insects and rot outside. Many of the homes included a small Buddhist temple, as seen in the back here.

The Japanese love to mash stuff, mostly rice and usually in a big mortar with a hammer shaped pestle. This, however, is the complete seesaw version. Very nice, even has a textured seat.

If the seesaw isn't big enough for your mashing needs, try to hydraulic one! Water is split along a beautiful tree-gutter and pours into two buckets, when the weight of the waters is great enough, the bucket ends swing down, raising a mallet inside, which thumps when the water is empty and the buckets rise again.

Of course you'd need some vessels for all your mashed goods...

This bell was a lot of fun because they let you ring it! Bong!

On the way back to town we saw this interesting stature of a sad boy. Notice the dripping snot.


Anonymous said...

How lovely, the tree gutter was great, how creative. I keep thinking about how you both are going to be processing all that you have seen and done and how it will play out in your design and work - should be very interesting to say the least! The furniture school must have been very exciting - sounds like you were able to do your presentation - any pictures of your designs? Bonnie

Matthew said...

Yes, our presentation was in six parts: RISD, Alison's work, P'kolino, Twigs, Matthew's work, and Our trip so far.