Llama & Legend discuss Kominka & Akiya #video

Minka Storytime video with Jaya Thursfield (Tokyo Llama) & Alex Kerr (Chiiori etc).

please settle in with a bevvie and enjoy this video slowly

Both speakers at the recent Minka Summit in Hanase, Kyoto-fu, Tokyo Llama (Jaya Thursfield) visited writer/collector/ visionary Alex Kerr (Chiiori Ltd etc) at Chiiori house in Iya Valley (Shikoku island).

They discuss ways to bring classic houses into modern age while retaining traditional charm, the joys of mixing new technologies and ancient art, and examples of how Alex’s 40+ projects since 1970s have come together as “positive public works“.

As well, they check out a city-block-sized Akiya and quick peeks at two other renovated guest houses, a kura turned restaurant, and another reservation-only country restaurant run by former Chiiori foundation staff.

More about Akiya (abandoned / dis-used houses), kominka (trad farm houses) and inaka (country/provincial areas) houses at: “Akiya” abandoned, cheap/free* houses in Japan / annotations, resources, riffs, musings, stories

They walk across the vine bridge, visit a dwindling village re-populated by sort of scarecrow dolls feeling the places of the disappeared villagers. and importantly, experience the mist of the valley drifting in while imagining hundreds of years of tobacco farmers “hiding away“ in the steep valleys.

The whole production is beautifully-paced, well-filmed, and really serves as a meta-story for so much about this recent “boom“ of Japanese and foreigners moving back to the country and resurrecting these houses, saving from demolition, creating a new lifestyles, learning new skills, revitalizing communities, and sparking new economies.

Realizing folks get into renovating kominka for all sorts of reasons and think you’ll find so many of the motivations addressed in here, making this a great resource to share with your confused relatives, your inspired neighbours, your curious cousins, and that friend abroad who always forward you those sensationalized articles about “free houses in Japan“ 🙂. Oh and Japanese subtitle version is coming.

Congrats to these established and emerging legends for this fantastic manifesto.

More from making my Kyoto scrapbook at: Scrapbook Session: glueing and taping Kyoto stuff (with punk records) & Scrapbook Session: snipping and sort-ganzing, Shimane + Kyoto (with troubadour records)

More about Akiya (abandoned / dis-used houses), kominka (trad farm houses) and inaka (country/provincial areas) houses at: “Akiya” abandoned, cheap/free* houses in Japan / annotations, resources, riffs, musings, stories

Whatcha think?