As I have lived in Northeastern Japan for over a decade there are two particularly lovely features of this home that I hope to integrate into my future:
1. たたみ “tatami” mat [sitting] area: Tatami mats offer me a particular connection to Japanese culture. I have had some form of tatami in every home I have lived in here in Japan and have grown to love the tactile feeling on my hands, the smell of new tatami, and often am inclined to take a post lunch nap on tatami after lunch on Sunday as is the custom in my adoptive family. This space would also be useful for my yoga and meditation practices.
2. 露天風呂 “roten-buro” (outdoor Japanese soaking tub): After enjoying public baths “onsens” here in my local city and around the Tohoku area, I think that it may be important to integrate this into my new American lifestyle to counteract reverse culture shock.
The Japanese Forest House is a confluence of a love of small spaces, a passion for local materials, and a fascination with traditional Japanese architecture. Over-sized beams, live edge slabs, natural timbers, real plaster walls, and minimal decoration, all encourage a deep sense of calm.
Almost every piece of this tiny house was salvaged, most of it from within ten miles of where the house sits. Small details and decorations were created by local artists, even going so far that the paper in the Japanese lanterns was hand made seven miles from here. We milled most of the timber on-site. Whether or not one believes that turning a log from beside the house into the house itself imbues it with some mystical qualities, it is undeniable that the pursuit of local materials connects more deeply to your landscapes, your neighbors and yourself.
previous post with a few more photos
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