vol.16 IideMavericks from Fukuoka breathe life to old folk houses, to the region

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2019.02.24|Jun and Yoko Sakamoto

One and a half years have passed since Mr.and Mrs.Sakamoto moved in to Iide-machi from Fukuoka, Kyushu. They are attracted to the Northeast Region where can be also regarded as roots of the Jomon, and decided to move in to Iide. What is the reason they chose Iide as a destination? We heard their story in the old folk house that exceeds 160 years after construction.

We are happy to hear from people who know about the previous state, "The atmosphere of the house got better. The function as a house has been reawaken." after we began to live in this house. "The condition of the thatch on the roof is also getting better.", Yoko smiled.

The refreshing breeze of May passes through the airy house which windows and doors are open, and the energetic chorus of frogs is heard from the pond. The swallows are busy to build nests under the eaves. The modern space that the leading-edge personal computers lined, jazz is playing, and the rich nature full of life force. There is an exactly "The Life in the Wood" by modern "Thoreau”.

Jun said, “The house repair is closer to ’restoration work’ making maximum use of the situation at that time than the renovation. How shall we make it new without destroying? The important thing is not return to the days of yore, but how to continue to successfully co-exist, while incorporating contemporary convenient things.” Jun is a craftsman for dyed goods, Yoko is in design-related business. "Before moving in to here, we confirmed whether the optical fiber is available because internet environment is important. If we can clear this problem, people like us can work everywhere.”

One and a half years have passed after they moved in to Iide-machi. Now, Yoko is completely familiar to mothers in the village, and loved by everybody. I get a phone call at nine in the morning, and she says, "Come here soon, and I'll give you Chinese cabbage." After I went to there, 3 hours had passed while enjoying talking. If I went to the village to collect the money in the morning, the tea was served everywhere, and it was already evening when I arrived home. It has happened many times. Because both of June and Yoko have a strong interest in the customs of the history and land, the presence of the elderly who is willing to talk such story seems to increase their desire to learn.

“One of various old stories we heard is customs in the wedding. The bride like a journey courtesan walked wearing Takageta (tall wooden clogs) and the chef carried her on his shoulder at the front door and she entered the room without crossing the threshold. There was such a custom here. When we talked that we are not doing a wedding ceremony, someone said, "Please do wedding in this house." If we could have a wedding ceremony reproduced at that time, it would be a lively party.

I wonder what kind of scenery they feel "beauty" while living in "the most beautiful villages, Iide".

"Two children of Japanese serow were chasing each other in the back of the house yesterday, too. I think such a scene is beautiful. Swallows, thrushes and woodpeckers flew to the house. I feel happy at the moment being surrounded by creatures in such a casual day-to-day.”, Jun said.

"Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, each season is also beautiful. Now, I feel the strong life force in the season of the fresh green bud, the leaves which turned red or yellow in the autumn is beautiful, and I feel a fresh charm to the closed world of white in winter.", Yoko said.

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