Jul 12, 2018
Growing up in the States, the oldest house I had set foot in was Shadows on the Teche, an old plantation home that is now a National historic landmark. Not quite two hundred years old, it has stood the time against hurricanes and floods making it pretty impressive to this 30-year-old who has witnessed homes swept away in floods. Most places with any age or history though, are occupied like the Shadows as museums. The idea of someone living in a home that is over 100 is astounding. However, in Japan, I have spent the night in several different homes ranging from 150 to over 300 years old. These houses are sprinkled around Japan. Their structure so well built, they are safer during an earthquake than any new homes built around them. One such home belongs to my close friend's aunt and uncle.
The house has been in their family for generations and probably for many more generations to come. Every part of it clearly showing the classic Japanese style. In just the foyer alone, you can clearly see the various aspects that all houses from that time period were made of; tatami flooring, bamboo everything from window coverings to light fixtures, an impressive genkan entrance way
sliding doors, paper windows, and the tokonoma nook in the wall for displaying prized art or flowers.
Their house is so impressive though that it has been featured a few times on tv and used in television dramas as a setting. But there are also other houses in the area as well that received the offers for airtime, my firend's family happens to be the only household wanting any attention.
In a completely different prefecture, another friend's family also has a house older than my home country. It was the first place I ever experienced an earthquake. The whole family lives on the same property but with seperate houses built around the main homestead. When the earthquake started, everyone ran to the old house knowing its sturdy walls were the most likely to last through the mild shaking.
Is anyone else as impressed as I am at Japanese old houses?
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too
It may be cliché to say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, but I wish the same craftsmanship and care went into the houses built during the housing boom in the seventies and eighties!
@genkidesuka they really don't make em like they used to which is a shame. it is all about low cost and low spending. most Japanese don't even plan to live in their houses now more than 10 years. But that low cost allowed us to buy a home, so it is a bit of give and take.