Diary: 40+ years of projects into a “kura” grain barn

Big day (Thursday March 19) here at Tsuchida cottage as my life archives completes a long journey by a ship and truck from a storage locker in Victoria, Canada to port in Vancouver to port in Kobe and here by truck.

40+ years of scrap books, journals, diaries, book reports, certificates, art projects, school report cards, letters, photos and of course dozens of my paintings, all my various artifacts from talks/spiels/prezos, hitchhiking signs, “important papers”, art supplies, recording equipment, plus boxes of books and crates of records, and of course dozens of amusing hats.

The email thread with the company is about 70 communiqués, quite a bit of paperwork for customs clearance etc. etc. If all goes well, everything will be offloaded and instantly “sort-ganized” into a magnificent olden “kura” grain barn.

The kura barn recently got a good organization and clean-up and it’s going to turn into something very special… A mixed media art studio/archive… It’s gonna work out great!

Need to get a little bit more electricity/light in there and there’s only a little bit of dry rot in a few places but generally dry and solid. Going to be a great place for listening/recording music, reading books and making projects.

You may well especially enjoy the mighty wood beams and construction of this structure.

Anyhow, first coffee, breakfast and pants and of course, I’ve made a little map/plan for the moving crew, what I’m saying is “wish me luck“ it’s a big one.


Mark B. provides some notes with appropriate Japanese:

Love the Kura!! Burnt cedar siding (焼杉版)Japanese Shikui lime plaster (漆喰)which made these warehouses much less prone to the frequent fires. The wood joinery and beam-work is awesome


Unloaded in :20 mins by these dudes

Might take a minute to sort-ganize

A smattering of paintings

Joe Strummer by Bev Davies

So many many many rock ‘n’ roll posters including the smugglers Tintin remix c/ Grant Lawrence

Even an old Zhonka event board c/ Jay Stewart

A bit more about the homestead:

Our property has four different structures, this old barn, the parents house (which is 100s of years old farmhouse which was completely renovated a few years back, maintaining all the traditional lines and features but adding in various modern conveniences and utility etc.), our little house which is kind of just cobble together from odds and ends over the decades and we recently done a few little improvements to (couple of double pane windows, curtains, awesome bathtub, a heat pump/cooler in the bedroom)… It’s a mix of wooden floors and tatami floors), and finally a garage/tool shed which is used for the wife’s business and full of various tools for tree trimming, landscape design, building things etc.… Yes my lady has got a wicked set of tools, plus there is a nice sized garden and several trees and seem to be many more fruit trees… Just got a move a bunch of rocks out of the way. There’s also a big pile of old roof tiles and some logs which will soon be inoculated with shiitake.

The kura (grain barn) was all tangled up and overgrown several years back before the reno/tidy up. As it goes, when the grandma (you saw her a few days ago in a photo with the grandpa who died many years back) moved away to oldster’s home due to illness, the house was empty for about 18 years and everything well, just went wild.

When Ryoko moved into the little house & convinced her parents to restore the big house, they thought would maybe tear down the barn but once they pulled away all the bamboo and big trees and *everything* and opened up the building, they saw it was fantastically well preserved.

So a Shinto priest did some blessings, and Morioka-san and colleagues some period restoration and whoa… a few years later a friendly Canadian poet’s archives moves in.

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