- The life of a thatched house craftsman
- Thatched houses return to the earth after being used.
- Craftsmen are trying to promote the technique by themselves.
- They have technological exchanges with oversea partners.
- One by one, he neatly revamps the thatched house.
Today I would like to introduce the craftsmen from COMINCA TIMES! They are the Organization for Ougo’s thatched house conservation, “Kusa-kanmuri.” I interviewed their representative, Mr.Sagara.
The life of a thatched house craftsman
Mr.Sagara, who established “Kusa-kanmuri” didn’t hope to become a thatched house craftsman at first, but says that he used to dream of living a big city and ended working in Tokyo as a DJ for a while. He came up with an idea to grow his own food and became a farmer. He then he met a thatched house craftsman who later became his current master.
Thatched houses return to the earth after being used.
The reason why he became a craftsman is because thatched houses stand in harmony
with nature and he wanted this to become part of his lifestyle. Thatched houses usually begin to deteriorate when their inhabitants leave, becoming a new habitat for small animals. It then gradually breaks down until finally retuning to the soil of the earth. A thatched house’s strength is based on the season/weather, and when it finally looses its strength it returns to soil.
Craftsmen are trying to promote the technique by themselves.
Mr.Sagara says “We need to promote the attractions of thatched housing by ourselves now.” In Japan, it is hard to build new thatched houses due to building codes. There are about 750 thatched houses in the Kita-district in Kobe, but it’s impossible to increase this number. Therefore, they are promoting in various other ways to pass the current thatched houses on to future generations.
They have technological exchanges with oversea partners.
Thatched houses are not only built in Japan, but also traditionally built in Europe. In Holland, it used to be difficult to use ‘thatch’ when building a new house, but it is allowed now due to an amended law 20 years ago. There are various types of thatched houses that can’t be seen in Japan and Mr.Sagara is exchanging techniques with craftsmen in Holland.
One by one, he neatly revamps the thatched house.
Reconditioning thatched houses requires a lot of work by hand and by doing this, it can save thatched houses for a few decades.
There are many thatched houses that still remain in Japan. We can’t miss out on his conservation organization “Kusa-kanmuri” and his work! The story made me feel like asking him to fix the thatched roof on my parent’s house.
The last picture of his back is way too cool.
■Ougo’s thatched house conservation, “Kusa-kanmuri”
【writer Takayuki Minakuchi from COMINCA TIMES】
This article uses an article site [COMINCA TIMES] to introduce initiatives that utilize the old houses of Japan.
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