An architecture makes bond between others

I watched a program featured “SANAA” on the TV. “SANAA” is a Japanese architectural firm.They were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize which is equivalent to the Nobel in architecture. For example, they have planned the Louvre Museum in Paris.

So far, public space was an authoritarian space.But they have tried to create a new kind of public space. They planned museums, schools, parks and the like. For example, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa hasn’t a fixed route along with visitors can walk around freely.And passer-by also can walk in the outer semi public space.
The architect said that an actual contact of people through staying in an architecture is  more valuable than social network.

Changing to a next topics, architecture promote town development. The Naoshima islands had a problem of depopulation. Therefore the architects planned the museum and the art making use of old houses and alleys. The architects considered the specific landscape and the history of settlement.After all new bond between others are made by architecture.
I think that an architecture which was made up of many people’s wishes is wonderful.

Orginic farming

The other day I received some kind of vegetable seeds from the International Nature
Farming Research Center.

This center is researching and promoting organic farming.
Orginic farming only utilises nature elements that are the soil and the sun.
The center takes care of local seeds. And they don’t use agrochemical and
chemical fertilizers.
Everyone can buy vegetable seeds from this center for a cheap price.

Two years ago when I started a small garden, I wanted to grow unusual vegetables which you can’t buy in ordinary supermarkets.
Then I researched various sites and found this center.

Last year I tried to grow vegetables from seeds.
But I failed to control the temperature and most of the seeds didn’t sprout.
I was forced to buy a diffrent seeding.

This year I will try to grow vegetables again. I will make a vinyl sheet to control the temperature.

These seeds in the photo are cucumber, solanum and green peppers.
The characteristics of these vegetables are given below.

Cucumber:black wart, thick and short “阿蘇地きゅうり”

Solanum;green fruit skin “在来青ナス”

Green peppers:obdurability,fertility ”自生ピーマン”

I could write for a month thanks to everyone.

I could write for a month!
I was surprised to write every day although I was bored easily.

Thanks to everyone I could continue to write. I can’t say anything except thank you.

Recently there is more than 50 views per day.
(But more than one thrid may be spam.)
What a wonderful things !
But I don’t mind the number of readers.
I continue to write even if one person will read.

When I looked back my posts, gradually I found that I want to write about the nature, nostalgic, a bond of human things in my daily life.
So I added my about page.
Next step, I hope to write about not only the knowledge but also the thought of my own.
I think that it is important that a contents has universality all the world not only Japan.
At present I have some subject to write about and enjoy blogging.

Kawagoe-city 02 the history of a traditional area


Today I continue to write the history of a traditional area in Kawagoe-city.

Kawagoe-city had many big fires since Edo era.(※1)
Especially the big fire in 1893, more than one third houses were destroyed by fire.
So merchants built many “Kura”(※2) in Meiji Era(※3) which were resistant to fire.
“Kura” were usually used as storage but the merchants in Kawagoe-city used “Kura” as their shops.

In the 1960s, some merchants tore down their “Kura” because they thought that
“Kura” were darkish inside and inconvenience to use.
Besides the center of the commercial zone moved
from this traditional area to a place near the new railway station.

In the 1970s, it reached a turning point. Some “Kura” were designated as national cultural assets.But at first the merchants couldn’t believe that “Kura” were valuable and many people came to see the “Kura” .
Later both the city government and citizens began to protest
when high-rise apartments were proposed by developers.

In the 1980s, a citizen’s organization was established to boost local development.
Merchants thought that activated commercial area was more important than they saved “Kura” .At long last the merchants in association with specialists drew up a ” development standard”.

This standard was inspired by pattern language wrriten by Christopher Alexander(※4)
which contained city and architectural design guidelines.
For example city design guidelines was written on “feeling a familiar green” and “living and
working at same location. “And architecture design guidelines was written on “height”, “natural and local material”and “shape”.

Later visual design guidelines wew introduced and Kawagoe-city was subsequently designated a protected district with traditional architectural value.
Citizenz could see more blue sky as aresult of the electric cables were built underground,

The movement thrived around this area.
For example “Taisho Roman”(※5) avenue where some Eropean architecture with
nostalgic atmosphere were preserved.

Now more than four million people come to see Kawagoe-city every year.

I hope that you can understand clearly what I mean.

(※1) Edo era:a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of
the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868.

(※2) Kura: storehouses made of roof tile and clay.
(※3) Meiji Era:Japanese era which extended from september 1868 through July 1912.
(※4) Christopher Alexander:architect
(※5) Taisho Roman:nearly Taisyo era

Candy store


My family went to the mall in my neighborhood last weekend.
This mall contains 120 shops including tailor’s shops, restaurants, electronics stores and bookstores
This mall is too large for one to see all the shops in a slow pace.

It is a nostalgic small-time candy store that my daughters really liked.
We bought a chocolate bar, a small “Daruma Otoshi” , a few cubic rice crackers and some squid snack.

“Daruma Otoshi”(wiki)

Then in the other shop, I bought a bottle of special mayonnaise which contained a walleye pollack and leaf mustard.

This mayonnaise goes with steamed potato, rice ball, bread and other food.
And this mayonnaise was the biggest-selling item in this store.
It was a little spicy for children but I like hot food.

My house 06 “Jyoutoushiki” A ceremony for the raising of a house’s framework


When the builder set up the framework of my house, my family held “Jyoutoushiki”
in my house which is under construction.

“Jyoutoushiki” is a ceremony for the raising of a house’s framework.
This ceremony is held less than ” Jichinsai”.
But we held this ceremony to pray to the God of architecture and craftsmen.

First we placed rice and sake in the four corners of the house.
And talismans are placed on the ridge pole.
In some areas they throw money and give rice cakes in their neighborhood.

Then we invited all craftsmen,
architect and my mother for dinner.
They celebrated together and gave us a bottle of sake.

And we served sushi wrapped in fried tofu, cooked dishes,
miso soup with pork and vegetables and a barrel of beer.
We gave handsel to each participant.

In the final stage one craftsman sang a traditional “Kiyari ” that we have never heard.
Kiyari is a kind of Japanese folk song that craftsmen sing when they bring wood.
These kinds of historical customs are disappearing gradually.
So I want to write it down as much as possible.

This video isn’t of my house but it shows the kiyari.

Abacus

It is said that the ancient Greeks used something similar to an abacus.
My mother brought an abacus to my daughters the other day.
It is the abacus that I had used more than twenty years ago.
There were a lot of abacus schools when I was a child.
My friends and I have been to this school in my neighborhood.
But fewer people study with abacus since computers are now widely used.

Even now I think that the logic of abacus is more useful for mental calculation than a computer.
I hope that my daughters will be able to use abacus.

Childcare and norovirus

Both my wife and I work on weekdays.
So our younger daughter attends nursery school and
our elder daughter attends after-school care for children.
My younger three years old daughter caught norovirus last week.
She vomited five times late at night.
So my wife took a day off because we couldn’t leave a sick child
in the nursery school and our parents didn’t live
near in the neighborhood to care for them.

Recently, the number of sick children attending places
such as special nursery school, hospital and citizen’s group which accepts them is rising.
But these place are not enough for many children.

On the other hand, some people think that parents should take care their own children when they are sick.
I wish the working hours could be reduced like the Netherlands.

By the way, the day before yesterday, it was my elder daoughter’s 7th birthday.

Kawagoe-city 01

If I tell about Kawagoe-city in a few words, I say that this city is composite of the traditional area and the commercial area.

This city has been a typical castle town since 1457.
A castle town contains a castle, a residential area for samurai, a housing area for merchants, a temple and a highway.
Their structure is still under the influence of using lands.
・The samurai residential area is a large area which is used for the city hall, the museum, and the baseball ground.
・The merchant houses which have narrow sides are still have been used for traditional shops.(This area is a traditional area.)
・The railroad station was built outside the castle town.
・The commercial area were made between the castle and the station.

The mayor of Kawagoe said

“The history and traditions of Kawagoe are alive and to this day remain important to the residents as well as visitingtourists, and they are seen in the impressive “Kura-zukuri”★, traditional architecture, and the Kawagoe Festival. A greatnumber of tourists visit Kawagoe each year.””

★A “Kura” is a storehouses made of roof tile and clay.

But Kawagoe-city wasn’t famous thirty years ago.
Later I will write the history of the town development in the traditional area.

Kawagoe map

Passion

I like Mr Children, a Japanese band. They create such impressive
melodies and song lyrics.

You can feel the passion of the audience in the video.
The audience sings most of the song instead of the vocalist.
The happiest people cry, laugh, and close their eyes.
Whenever I watch this video, I can also feel the passion and power of the song.

I wonder why so many people can feel happy together.
I’m also afraid that excessive passion is a little dangerous.
Why do people pursue passion?

——————————————————————
Some of the song lyrics are below.

ああ 雨上がりの遠くの空に虹が架かったなら
戸惑いや 不安など 簡単に吹き飛ばせそうなのに
乾いた風に口笛は 澄み渡ってゆく
まるで世界中を優しく包み込むように

Ah. If a rainbow was to form in the distant sky after it rains
I think I’d be able to blow off my confusion and anxiety easily.
The whistle in the dry wind remains around
as if it were engulfing whistle the whole world.