Tiny House Japan; who knew?

The original link was sent to me by Chris Beneke.  Thanks Chris.

TINY HOUSE JAPAN: Some serious innovation at work.

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I do not read or speak Japanese so I’m at a loss over many details but the photos and videos exhibit a world of real innovation in design and construction.  The builder, Haruhiko Tagami (製作担当 田上晴彦) has a spectacular web page highlighting some of his designs that are already giving me much food for thought for future constructions.

One of the first things that really caught my attention was the pop-up mollycroft which adds and enormous amount of light and circulation but folds flat for travel.

He has designs from the truly tiny (on par with my original design space-wise) to a very substantial house on wheels with pop-out rooms that are incredible works of engineering.

The smallest Baske-T.

Roll down canvas curtains block the large windows for the night.

Roll down canvas curtains block the large windows for the night.

One of the problems with covering the extended space is having roll-up roofs along the lines of an old roll-top desk.

rolluproofThis allows for the modest-sized trailer to become a spacious palace; a big advantage when sharing with others.

metamophasisThis more than triples the available living space and in some of the photos there is even a third room extended as well.  This would suit a lot of people as a truly long-term living solution that could be pulled by a relatively small vehicle; not the enormous white aluminum fifth-wheel monsters that haunt the freeways.

Enjoy this small overview of the design and please check out more of his work by clicking the LINKS.

Many more photos of his work are available on his Instagram Page as well.  There is much to explore for the budding builder so be prepared to take notes!

Baske-T

Click to see the large and beautiful Baske-T.

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Japanese Pack Frame

And an interesting basket.

Pack frames are nearly universal historically as most cultures encounter the drudgery of carrying heavy loads over long distances.  I am always searching for historic images to delve into to look for inspiration.  Here is a nifty pack frame from the early 20th century of a charcoal maker from Japan.  The frame looks like simple through-tenons in a rectangle.  The pack basket appears to be fairly simple twined straw and I think the shoulder straps are woven fiber.  He is also sporting some nifty looking waraji sandals.

japanesepackframeThis is what I could find out about the image:

RUSTIC OLD JAPAN — The Charcoal Carrier
From a Sample Set of Classic Meiji and Taisho-era Japan Stereoview images by Japanese Photographer T. ENAMI (1859-1929).

Photo by T. Enami, ca.1898-1905. View number S-392 from Enami’s 3-D Catalog.

See www.t-enami.org

Sawing Planks

RippingPlanks

Sawing Planks by hand and eye in Japan ca. 1870.

Before powered saw mills, making lumber was much more labor intensive.  Now I can flip a switch to crank up the band saw or table saw; or pull the cord to fire up the chainsaw for big work.  It’s easy to forget how good we have it.  Notice the sturdy little sawhorse holding up the trunk.  I suspect this was hot and hard work.

There is much more about this stereo image here.

Ainu Art and Archaeology

Ah, Ainu. What an interesting people.

The Heritage Trust

 
 
Carved knife by Japanese artist Kaizawa Toru
 
The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will be holding a Friends Event on Monday, 23 February 2015 from 6:00-7:30pm. The Event will be held at the Sainsbury Institute in Norwich, England and is entitled Ainu Art and Archaeology. Two talks will be given; one by Professor Kato Hirofumi (Professor of Archaeology, Hokkaido University Centre for Ainu and Indigenous Studies) entitled Tracing the Emergence of Ainu Ethnicities using Archaeological Data. The other talk is by the artist Kaizawa Toru and is entitled Conflict and Amalgamation between “Tradition” and “Ainu”.
 
The Sainsbury Institute invites you to join them –
 
…for an evening in the company of two distinguished guests who will introduce us to two fascinating aspects of the distinctive culture of Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. The historical trajectory of Hokkaido is very different to the other main…

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A Master at Work

It is awe-inspiring to see a master of anything at work, making their creation seem almost effortless.  Many thousands of hours, or even thousands of days, really show at a high level of work.  This isn’t to say that repetitive tasks are always fulfilling or require lot’s of mental exercise but that is often the route to real craftsmanship.  This short film is a great thing to watch.