カテゴリー
wa-no-ie

House of the Jomon

We are currently building a house.

Known as a modern version of a traditional house”Wa-no-ie”※1, the building follows a traditional japanese floor plan and will be one of a limited number of this kind of structure in Japan.

The construction method utilizes the techniques of “oriokigumi” and “ishibadate” used in shrines and temples. 

The materials used are of natural origin, just as in traditional Japanese houses, and the building also incorporates soil walls and a doma dirt floor.

The most important feature of the house is that it follows the pattern of the Japanese traditional house that has been around since the Jomon period.

Many people are behind the scenes helping to make this modern version of a traditional house a reality. 

First of all, there is my husband. I am so grateful to have someone so cooperative, sympathetic and understanding during this project.

Then, there is the person who first made me want to live in a traditional house, my benefactor and Wa-no-mai dance organizer, Chiga Kazuki. Through his book, “Wa No Kokoro: Cosmic Spirit,” Chiga turned the world’s attention to the charm of and wisdom held within traditional Japanese houses, as well as providing detail about construction techniques. The book proved to be an invaluable resource when it came to this building project. I was also fortunate enough to receive advice directly from Chiga. 

After I asked architect Yamada Tetsuya, who repairs cultural assets like traditional houses, to draw up the design. Yamada has had an extraordinary career, having worked on repairs in the Imperial Palace among other projects, and has extensive knowledge of traditional houses. 

When it came to constructing the house, I turned to Fujimoto Kо̄muten, a group of carpenters who studied under Matsui Ikuo, author of a book on revitalizing traditional houses, and who have carried on the practice of oriokigumi and other traditional Japanese construction methods.

Our project began in 2015. At the time, it was not possible to live in a traditional house in an urban area, so we considered relocating and reconstructing in a rural environment. Ultimately, the high costs and difficulty of maintenance meant that we had to give up on that idea. 

However, However, in 2017, thanks to architect Shunya Baba discoverd that it is possible to build the ideal minka proposed by Kazuki Chiga, and the door to what we had thought was impossible opened. 

From that point, my husband and I searched every week for land on which we could build a modern version of a traditional house and worked hard to secure a budget. 

Construction started in the spring of 2021, and the Jotoshiki will finally be taking place next month. The Jotoshiki is a building ceremony that marks the completion of the building’s structure.

In Japan, building a house has been a ritual in and of itself since ancient times. This can be seen in the ground-breaking ceremony that is held before the house is built, and carpenters putting their all into chopping wood by hand. 

I hope to share photos of these kinds of practices observed in traditional Japanese construction with you in the future.


※For ground improvement, we adopted the Eco-Geo method. This method is less burdensome to the earth.


※1 https://japanese-traditional.jimdofree.com/%E5%92%8C%E3%81%AE%E7%A9%BA%E9%96%93-%E5%92%8C%E5%AD%A6%E5%BB%BA%E7%AF%89/

カテゴリー
wa-no-mai

The beauty of wa-no-mai.

I have been learning a dance called “Wa-no-mai” for about 10 years now.

Wa-no-mai is a great organization, and is also a training program.

Since I started learning Wa-no-mai, I have changed for the better.

I have gained a never-before-seen level of concentration with the ability to overcome any obstacle. I have developed a type of absolute confidence that is not affected by the outside world.

People who knew me before Wa-no-mai would think that I am a different person if they see me now.

Today, I would like to talk about the beauty of Wa-no-mai.

First, the Wa-no-mai dojo is as quiet as the precincts of a shrine.

When you step into the dojo, you will feel a mysterious sense of calmness.

Next, when the session begins, the first thing we do is to stretch our bodies. This special stretching segment, which takes a full hour to complete, is a wonderful way to relax not only our bodies but also our minds. By the end of the stretching, our personal thoughts and worries will disappear, and our minds and hearts are emptied and healed.

Then, after warming up, the dancing finally begins.

As the dance repeated over and over again, it has a simple exercise effect, but what makes it different from ordinary dances is that it includes a meditative element to it.

When I practice Wa-no-mai, I often find myself in a meditative state, and I am filled with a sense of peace and happiness. This feeling cannot be well explained in words.

When I watch Kazuki Chiga, the organizer of the Wa-no-mai, and the group of instructors dancing, I can see that their consciousness is in a state of hyper-concentration throughout the dance.

It feels as if they have far surpassed the consciousness of ordinary people, and are in the zone.

I believe that this consciousness is contagious to the space and the people, which enabled me to change for the better.

I am very lucky to have gotten to known Wa-no-mai.

I started this blog because I want to share this happiness through dance with people not only in Japan but all over the world.

Wa-no-mai has a wide variety of participants of all genders, from beginners, small children all way to the elderly.

Anyone can join, so if you are interested after reading this, you should definitely give it a shot.

※⇒https://en-wanomai.jimdofree.com/

カテゴリー
wa-no-mai

Love wa-no-mai

I do a style of dance known as Wa-no-mai in Japan.

When I first started Wa-no-mai, a friend asked me, “What is Wa-no-mai?” I promptly answered, “It’s like a cross between yoga and Bon Odori…” (a style of dance performed during the Obon festival).

I wanted to portray the image of a dance that has both the elements of yoga, a practice that refreshes the body and helps one reach a meditative state, as well as the elements of Bon Odori, a ritual event where local people gather and dance in a circle.

I’d like to note that Bon Odori is still popular across Japan today, but it’s not simply a summer event. It’s a ritual event where people dance together with their ancestors and spirits. In some areas of the country, rituals such as Kami Okuri (a dance to send off the spirits of the gods), which is performed at the end of Bon Odori, are still alive today.

I love Wa-no-mai.

It’s fun to dance, and I can feel spiritual joy such as unity and fulfillment.

I also gained a sense of “ethnic consciousness” through it.

I plan to go into further detail on ethnic consciousness in a separate post, but seeing an ethnic minority group happily dancing on TV helped me to understand this mentality.

Through my posts, I would like to introduce more about Wa-no-mai and myself as a Japanese person from various angles.

※About Wa-no-mai

https://en-wanomai.jimdofree.com/