Antiques Find a New Home in an Old Minka

60th Funny Birthday Party Ideas

The unassuming beauty of Japan's minka farmhouses comes from the use of natural building materials and traditional techniques perfected over hundreds of years. The word minka originally meant a home of a common person who was not an aristocrat or a samurai. However, it is now primarily used to describe farmhouses with heavy wooden structures and thatched roofs. These buildings also illustrate a deep understanding and appreciation of wood in Japan. The love of nature instilled by Japan's ancient...

Floorplan of Zan Yu Sothe organic organization of a Japanese house

Around the time when Leonardo da Vinci was developing a system of dimensions that scaled the human body for use in architecture, Japanese craftsmen standardized the dimensions of a tatami mat to 90 x 180 centimeters, which was considered adequate for a Japanese person to sleep on. Every dimension in a Japanese house relates to the module of a tatami mat. For example, the height of fusuma doors is usually 180 centimeters. The width of a structural post is usually one-tenth or one-fifth of 90...

An Old Farmhouse Gears up for the Future

Old Japanese Wood Building

Minka, the traditional farmhouses of japan, are a wonderful but fast disappearing building genre. They are generally constructed of heavy and often uneven timbers, bamboos, thatched roof and mud walls. Minka that have survived today were built by wealthy farmers and merchants, and represent the ingenurty of the Japanese folk craft traditions. In spite of their charm, minka are often dark and cold, lack modern conveniences, and are very expensive to re-thatch and maintain. For these reasons, the...