October, 2017

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at
our previous issues.


Arms of the carpenters

The Arms of the Carpenters

 Mamoru Ikeda  Manabu Inoue

 In Japan, we call someone who has a good skill of anything, like cooking, sewing, carpentering..., a person of ARMS. They are not artists. They are sometimes craftsmen, engineers, sometimes armatures. They have good ARMS! We don't say they have good HANDS. Isn't it strange?
Anyway, this month, I will introduce you two men of ARMS.
They are carpenters, very traditional Japanese carpenters. Traditional carpenters are getting less and less. These days, even wooden houses are made by machines in a factory!
Our carpenters have worked for us for a long time. The wooden buildings of Yoyokaku are old, and they always need care. These two men, Mamoru and Manabu, are rare experts, and they fix the old buildings as perfect as before. Nobody can tell which part is old and which is new.

Recently, they finished a big house for a rich farmer's family. It took them for almost one year to complete it. Please enjoy looking how a Japanese house is like. It is a brand new house. No furniture yet. Not living yet. Just a new house ready for the owner family to move in.
   The whole figure of the house.
The garden around the house will be designed and constructed hereafter. It will take years for a house to complete.
   Wide windows take in much sunshine.
Sunshine is a blessing.
   The second floor windows.
   The front door.
Japanese traditional front doors are often sliding doors, if the entrance has enough space.
   There is a furniture for shoes, because we Japanese take off our shoes at the entrance of the house.
This furniture was made by the carpenters.
Wood is very special. Beautiful!
   Typical Japanese style guest room.
On the alcove wall, a scroll is hung, and in the left smaller alcove, the owner of the house wants to put his important statue of Buddha.
   The detail of the ceiling.
So simple and beautiful.
High quality wood panel. Genuine, and smells good.
   The light through the screen windows are so tender.
   The Ranma under the ceiling is a typical Japanese architecture device.
Air with the smell of Orchid goes through this to the next room.
Oriental orchid smells nobly.
   The part under the stairs is used in many ways.
   Wooden stairs are warm and soft to your feet.
   Handrails were hand-made by these carpenters.
   The dining room.
Furniture is not yet installed.
   The corner part is for TV set.
   The dining room floor.
   Reading room.
   Housewife room.
How nice to have such a space for ironing, writing, calculating or...else.
   The back door is convenient to come in and out in a working wear.
   Washing room is clean and wide.
   The frame of the mirrors were made by the carpenters with a special wood which was found buried deep underground for 1000years.

In an old typical Japanese farmer's house, everything was heavy and strong.
But this house is simple, straight, and light feeling. It is very modern.
The beauty of wood itself is pursued here. Metals? Yes, sometimes. Porcelain, paper, earth, ....... natural things are used. Plastic? No. All together, this house is a harmony of the nature.
The two stout guys, silent and shy, talented but not boasting, are the real men of ARMS.

Thank you for meeting them.
Would you like to build a Japanese style house? OK, I will persuade them to go everywhere in the world.

Thank you for your visit.
Looking forward to seeing you next month again.
Harumi Okochi
mail to: info@yoyokaku.com