Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Japanese thatched shed

As I live in a constant state of storage shortage I usually pay attention to how others solve their need for sheds and shops. These are pictures I took last year in Iya Valley, Shikoku island, Japan.
The site here is called Chiiori, "Flute house", and is an old Japanese farm renovated by author Alex Kerr. It's now a hang-out for assorted hipsters and slackers, who were very friendly and gave me permission to poke around even though they had to be elsewhere at the time.
In his book, Lost Japan, Kerr has a whole chapter on the challenges of rethatching the roof on his house. (I can't remember him mentioning his shed.) As more and more of his neighbours started using corrugated iron for their roofs, they no longer felt any need to maintain their plot with designated thatch grass. In the end, thatching was phased out, not because corrugated iron roofing was cheaper, but because the popularity of corrugated iron roofing made grass thatching, which was dependent on communal effort, less viable.
I am mentioning this, of course, because I am an old fart who believes this lesson applies to a whole host of stuff. Whine whine, whine.
The exterior of the shed at Chiiori was definately in harmony with its surroundings, if a little worn down. The interior looked astonishingly much like any other shed.

1 comment:

coastkid said...

i love seeing other folks sheds!,theres lots of thatched outbuildings down in england,only a few in east lothian,