Japanese Country Style
Putting New Life into Old Houses
Japanese Country Style introduces sixteen unique and sumptuous homes rescued by Yoshihiro Takishita, a professional antiquarian, and illustrates how his renovations rejuvenated these all-but-forgotten architectural gems. Takishita candidly discusses the thoughts and inspirations that led him to adapt and convert these centuries-old farmhouses for modern living. Chapters on their unique history and construction demonstrate the value of these towering traditional homes, and illustrate their place in Japanese rural life, where several generations often lived under the same roof which allowed for a horse in the stable area and silkworms in the attic.
Japanese Country Style also showcases the artful blending of traditional Japanese elements with modern lifestyles. Tatami rooms, Japanese antiques, traditional wooden furniture, and other treasures fill the rooms of these homes, and evoke the understated elegance of country-style living. With over 200 photographs and illustrations of beautifully refurbished folk homes, this volume presents a portrait of a sublime yet simple way of life that will give anyone interested in design and architecture a host it useful ideas.
This books adopts a bilingual format, providing both Japanese and English commentary.
About Yoshihiro Takishita and his work
“For the past [35 years], Mr. Takishita has dominated what is probably the tiniest housing niche in Japan—the buying, selling and moving of the evocative minka, or farmhouse.”
—Wall Street Journal
“It’s unique in America and perhaps the world—the only time that three historical minka Japanese farmhouses have been combined to form one residential dwelling.”
“Step inside and you walk into the best of a Japan of bygone days—the same giant beams, blackened with age.... and black floorboards with two centuries of walking and wounds underfoot.”
—Mainichi Daily News
“Yoshihiro Takashita sees [Japanese firm houses] as a uniquely pure form of Japanese building because they were created during the era when the country had closed itself off from the rest of the world.”
—The Washington Post
“... showcases the artful blending of traditional Japanese elements for modern living.”
“In this lavishly photographed book... author explores 16 minka that he has renovated and restored for use by today’s homeowners....Tours of the homes illustrate how traditional Japanese.”
—Timber Homes Illustrated
“...feature(ing) 300 photos of 16 “minka” farmhouses—refurbished by Japan’s top architectural designer Takishita—that mix modern design with tradition.”
—Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Magazine
About the Author
YOSHIHIRO TAKISHITA was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1945 and graduated with a law degree from Tokyo’s Waseda University in 1967. While still a student, he learned of a 250-year-old farmhouse (minka) near his home town that was about to be submerged in the construction of a local reservoir. Impressed by the dignity of the structure, he arranged to have the house moved to a site in Kamakura, where it was rebuilt as a home for his American foster father.
He then took eighteen months off and hitchhiked around the world, visiting thirty-six countries. On his return in 1971, he established The House of Antiques, where he sells furniture, ceramics, and other antiques. After enthusiastic clients praised the reconstructed farmhouse in Kamakura and urged him to build more, he began rebuilding and renovating other traditional farmhouses. To date, he has carried out thirty renovations, four of them overseas.