I live in a 35-year-old house, two-storied wooden, but there is something wrong with opening and closing of fixtures and so on.
This house was designed by late my father. Only wall of bath room on the first floor was plastered, for some reason. I should say that he selected this material only for humid rooms. But there is no way to know it at this point.

The vinyl wallpaper of toilet on the second floor began to unstuck. And that the tile and metal portion of lighting gathered rust and mold. But plaster wall is as yet no sign of corrode and remains new-built shape.
It's an indisputable fact that plaster wall has effect of humidity conditioning and I think it also has antimicrobial function.

   
 

In March 2006, the Y residence which was completed in Nishigamo, Kyoto. The entrance door transferred it from a house in Kobe where Mrs. Y lived since childhood. Because the dismantling of the house in Kobe and new construction of this house occurred at the same time by chance, transference was enabled and carried it in a construction site by wagon car of Mrs. Y driving. The new life has started by opening the door that Mrs. Y used for 20 several years and it has never changed such as the way to open the lock and the door and the weight it was. Mrs. Y seems to feel that she is back home every time she unlocks the door
   


I was present at setting up the framework of Mr. N's house in Hayama-machi. In the case of a conventional wooden construction method, the carpenter usually build main structure materials of the whole building, and by case, during day, they go so far as make the base sheet of a roof. Dramatic scene where the whole aspect of a building appears suddenly is a Japanese peculiar scene which is different from a stone building. As hoisting HEIGUSHI which is said to the landmark when God comes down to the land, and we pray for safety completion of the building by sprinkling sacred Sake, Salt and Rice onto the columns in all corners , and appreciate the construction worker. At this Mr. N's house, all of the family wrote their name to the mainstay in memory of setting up the framework. Till this mainstay is covered in finishing materials from now on, the carpenters always watch this letters"Thank you for all of you".
 
   
 

I went to Mongolia as a trip to collecting butterflies in the end of June, 2005. Air of the grassy plain is limitlessly dry, and the far-off mountain range and the outline of clouds floating in the sky are seen clearly like a picture of surrealism. Only a road of the sand and an electric wire which continues straight without a limit were the things which guaranteed my identity alone, but when I was standing alone on the dried grassy plain, I fell into a mysterious illusion that my body becomes small and finally only the spirit is floating.
   


I stayed in this GERU for 5 days during my 7 days in this trip.The prefabricated tent of diameter with 4.8m and a 2.4m height seemed superior house which matched the climate of Mongolia very much. The two main props are put on the surface of the ground without settling in the earth, and the waterproof cloth made by leather is done an anchor with the rope tied with a weight, and it makes possible not to need digging the ground. There is only one doorway in southern side which allowed you going in and out with a stoop. The inside is wide unexpectedly, in the midmost there are firewood stove and a table, and as standard furniture, there are four beds around there. It is a space settled down very much. People turn over the hem of the cover of the surrounding and let dry air in in the daytime, and close it at night not to miss warmth. It is ultimate mobile house which trimmed wastes off taking a long time.
 
   
 

A picture has an autograph, a car has an emblem, and a cloth has a tag, but a building can't be known who made it only by giving a look. Therefore I attached a tablet which carved a seal of completion year, architect and name of constructor into the buildings position where is not outstanding and also can be seen from anyone. There is not generally any of the effectiveness of advertising, but I would attach it at own expense to have a new understanding of a social responsibility.
 



As for the Western tableware, they are various things such as knife, fork, spoon, knife for meat, fish use, but a pair of chopsticks is enough for Japanese food. It may be said that it is representative instrument of a healthy food tool. This is a pair of wooden chopsticks that I bought at a long-established chopsticks store of Kyoto when I was alone taking up my job in Kobe in 1986. I think it's made by nandina. Even though I used it every day during 20 years, it became familiar and moisturizing with hands instead of being broken or being split. I think that will be usable till I die. I am proud of such a Japanese culture. When I am with such a strong thought, the house becomes to comfortably and also will give you long use unexpectedly.

 
   
 

Every time when Christmas season come, it put on mind of a cassette tape of my friend JT who was a classmate graduated from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, flute department. When we met and requested to design his house in December, 1988, he gave me a tape that was recorded over 10 tunes he wrote and played. While listening these tunes which was filled a lot of love to his family, I used to sketch in many papers to come up to his thought. As the house was finally completed, when JT and I made a preliminary inspection of the house at the night of the day before the moving, only a grand piano was carried to the deserted music room earlier. And suddenly he played the piano and sang for me having stood. It was "Let it be" of the Beatles. I sat down and listened, but the echo went by the stairwell through the whole house. When he finished playing it, he said. "Tera-san, it resounds well". For me who designed it, it was words of the best appreciation.
   


When I walked around Shakujii park near my home in early fall, and I looked up incidentally I found the sky in the shape of a crack among a dense trees of zelkova. Though each tree pays attention to each other, it seems to spread its branches into the sky as far as possible. I cannot consider that the strong tree try to occupy the weak tree when I watch the crack where this exquisite width continued. I felt that the theory of evolution of British Darwin "The weak man is reduced, and the strong man stays and evolves" was a mistake intuitively. The natural world seems to be more generous and tolerant than we consider. Otherwise diversity cannot be able to coexist. I wish borders become such "crack", too.
 
   
 

We made a model scale of 1/200-1/100. Depending on cases, plural forms are made with a stage of basic design. And I also make the model of 1/100-1/50 in which was expressed more details in the inside in compared with the original design that was made up. In addition, sometime after the construction has started, I make partially models of 1/20-1/10 for deliberation. I make many sketches or drawings and check up them considerably. But when we make models, we realize something that was not clear, or new ideas occurred to me. So the design becomes more complete one. And we explain and talk with client by using these models, it is no doubt about a model can easier being understood than lots of drawings. Once, we tried to describe it a three-dimensional picture by using computer. But considering the time for input and its effects, though it because of the absence of technology, I found out that making models manually is far more effective.
   


Everybody seems to have some memory of a house in which they used to lived in. Someone's memory is a cold and smooth feeling of a floor of a passageway. Others are a sing of crickets that was heard in a half dark bathroom in a night of autumn or a semi-transparent light bulb cover hanging down in a Japanese style room. Like them, people might have various memories. When old house demolished, we look for something that probably can be reuse for the new house. On the contrary, it is not save construction costs, if anything, it takes more costs considering the time for taking and furnishing it. However, like a living thing life can be pass to next generation through DNA, I would like to leave something that can be remember as a memory of the old house, at least one thing. As in the entrance of a house in Nagura, Ishigaki (built in 2002), it holds an old fashioned lump shade that the house owner Mrs. U used to use for over 50 years at a house in Suginami-eifuku-cho, went over the sea, and now it is turned on the light again.
 
   
 

At end of the summer in 1988, when a client, Mr. & Mrs. K and I stood on the construction site, a breeze blew into leaves of an old KOBUSHI tree stood on the south corner. We decided to leave only this tree. But when the construction has started, lots of the thick trunk was cut, as we worried if it might be dead. But at the next spring, we were glad to have seen the tree bloomed white flowers beautifully. The day after K family moved into the house, 3 of Japanese radish was on the porch which make Mrs. K wonder. It was a greeting gift from a farmer who has farm near the house. The gift included the neighbours' appreciation for leaving the tree as she has been looking since she was a child. It's already 17 years has past since the house built, this year also the tree bloomed beautifully.
   


Almost people have a ceremony of purifying a building when they build a house or building. Commonly, people ask the chief priest of the shrine of the local Shinto deity to come and pray. But it doesn't matter whether Christian style or Buddhism style. The point is the owners' heart. In Shinto system, set up an altar and pray for the god to come down from the sky, then give a feast to pray, "We build a house on your ground. Please get on well with us". It's a kind of ceremony of information and reception of God presence. A Buddhism ceremony that I had experienced in Ishigaki-island, Okinawa had almost same motive, it was a big hearted southern country ceremony mixed Shinto and Buddhism under the symbiosis thought.
 
   
 

When I went to a house in Asaka during interior finish work, carpenters were writing their names on the back of a board that just before hang. If you said that it was a graffiti, that would be the end of it, but they must wanted to leave their names out of a pride to the work that they did. On a stainless steel board, we inscribed a name of all the people engaged in construction not to mention a family of owner in the order of the Japanese syllabary. We installed it in the foundation of the house where can be seen from the street with all a feeling of thanks to a construction worker. In a big building, a magnificent laying cornerstone board made from granite is fitted in the first floor entrance, it became a wonderful laying a cornerstone board equally as well as big buildings' one. Later on, we also installed similar laying a cornerstone board at a house of Zushi.
   


At a house in Chiba, when the construction site had became nearly finish, I couldn't decide what I chose as a pressing board of a glass door of the first floor drawing room. There is not a fit one even if I watch companies catalogue. The door is the part which is touched first in the building, I had been looking for a wooden things as gentle material, neither plastic nor metal, but there was no one can be came up to my satisfaction. I found a piece of wood around 70cm that cut an alcove post which was buried in scrap of building material in the construction site. I decided promptly. I cut the materials in half and put the glass door between them. Because it is a part of the excellent alcove post with bark which is smooth, it is the best quality. This kind of improvised idea is also one of the fun at the construction site.

 

[ last update 2002-07-01 ]
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