Nokoso-kai (The Association for Preserving Old Japanese Farmhouses)

(Japanese text is here)

News: March 16, 2005: Boston School acquires Old Japanese Farmhouse

Restored minka entrance

Welcome to this web page! It is about an unusual project to rescue an unusual form of architecture, the Japanese minka, or farmhouse, from extinction. It is an endangered species.

The association is sponsored by the well-known Japanese architect, Yoshihiro Takishita, who specializes in modernizing these graceful old houses, with their massive beams and pillars, making them fit for 21st century living.

It is a strictly volunteer, non-paying, non-governmental project. If you are the owner of a minka who fears he has to abandon it but wishes to see it survive, please contact the association through nokosokai.org@gmail.com.

Anyone, Japanese or foreigner, interested in this volunteer project and wanting more details, or wishing to make a donation to the associaton, please write to nokosokai.org@gmail.com. Or join the Nokosokai discussion group.

Mr.Takishita explains why he has begun this project:

"The purpose of the Association," he says, "is to preserve these old Japanese farmhouses and in doing to so to teach future generations, both in Japan and overseas, of their beauty.

"In recent years, these extraordinary old houses have begun to disappear at an alarming rate, removing a picturesque element from the rural scene. This has happened because of growing industrialization. However, we believe that these magnificent farmhouses should not be sacrificed in the name of progress. There is room for each to live side by side. Construction

"These farmhouses, or minkas, were created by our ancestors hundreds of years ago and are the visible signs that they were able to live harmoniously with nature rather than trying to conquer it. They are the precious repositories of the 'living wisdom' of men and women who understood their vital relationship to nature.

"We believe it is our urgent mission to persuade today's humans of the need to balance industrial growth with greater understanding of the importance of nature in our lives. These minkas help us understand this important truth. Today's generation, and those which follow,will benefit from these lessons. We must act now before it is too late.

"The Association consults with owners, many of whom do not know the value of their minkas, on ways to maintain them and make them liveable. Construction

"We do research on their historical and architectural background.

"We present our ideas on how to help their minkas survive based on our research and evaluation.

"We will also hold seminars,general meetings and issue public information to acquaint those interested in what we are doing."

Contact us through email nokosokai.org@gmail.com, or our website nokosokai.org or join the Nokosokai discussion group.

We have already accomplished a lot in two years.

(Japanese text is here)

Related information is available at the website for the book Minka-ichiku: Japanese Country Living