Extracts from the Miyagi Network News XXII

Traditional Structures in Iwanuma City and Ishinomaki City

Published on 22 May 2011

Author(s): Network for Historical Materials/Daisuke Sato

Type:  Blog/Situation report Vol 122

The Inspection of Traditional Structures in Iwanuma City and Ishinomaki City by the Architects’ team

This is Toshihiro Sato, member of the architects’ team in the Miyagi Network for Preserving Historical Materials. I will report about our activities from 7th to 8th of May.

We were supported again by the people who helped with repairing and preserving traditional structures from Kanazawa City, and measured an old structure in Iwanuma City. The participants were Mr.Koji Hashimoto who joined us last time, and two young traditional architects, Mr.Naoki Noda and Mr.Kenji Yoshida.

These three members departed from Kanazawa at midnight on 6th, and arrived at Kawauchi Campus in Tohoku University where our secretariat office was located at 8:30am on 7th. After we had a simple meeting in the secretariat room and taken a short break, we headed to Iwanuma City together.

When we reached the field, according to the master of the house, the construction survey for the main house had already been done, and the ground plan had been also drawn up. Therefore, at this time we planned to concentrate on measuring the whitewashed warehouse called ‘Ishogura’(it means the ‘warehouse for clothes’.). This warehouse was covered with the vinyl sheet as an urgent measure by our team on April 14th(please see ‘Miyagi Network News’ vol.111 and 112).

At the survey, Mr.Yoshida and Mr.Noda took responsibility for inside of the warehouse, and Mr.Hashimoto and I measured the outside of the structure. It took approximately 8 hours and we wrote them down in a sketch book. We interviewed about the situation of measuring operation and local feeling then made a video clip, so please refer it. (The construction survey in Iwanuma City: http://www.youtube.com/satoutosihiro#p/u/6/q4K3fYAupjE)

After the survey, there would be no meaning if we couldn’t draw up the plans. Therefore, I ordered them to make minute plans.

If ‘Ishogura’ will be scrapped, it can be reconstructed if the detailed plans remain. Simultaneously, the buildings exist with people’s lives, customs, and economy, so if the people cannot conceive the Ishogura’s new utilization, it is natural that it will lose the meaning of its existence and the structure itself will disappear from society. Thus, we consider that you can understand the necessity of this survey data as a kind of historical record. We would like to put this data to good account so as to make people’s lives richer, and to work not to simply store it away.

Although we scheduled to survey in Iwanuma City for 2 days, it was finished in a day, so we visited Mr.Honma in Ishinomaki City to interview him and observe the present condition of the whitewashed warehouse which we had inspected on April 12th. Mr.Honma happened to be there, so we could listen to his story about the progress of the repair and the old roof tiles which he had gathered for restoration. We made a video clip around the Honma family’s warehouse and the Wakamiya-maru which had been scrapped, so please see it. (The scenery around the Honma family’s warehouse: http://www.youtube.com/satoutosihiro#p/u/9/KeHzWDHowsY)

After that, we went around Onagawacho where the damage by the Tsunami was the most catastrophic. As for its situation, we also made a video clip which has gone public, so please see it. (The present situation about Onagawacho: http://www.youtube.com/satoutosihiro#p/u/0/Ge–8YcsyH0)

With regard to this old traditional house, at night on May 7th, we received the request for the inspection of this structure damaged by the quake. According to the previous information, the owner family had hesitated whether they would preserve it or not, however it was revealed that the whole family cherished this house. Therefore, we carried out the investigation operation and told them that there would be various ways to repair it although it might not be a perfect restoration.

They seemed to feel relief. In terms of this structure, we will continue to cooperate the repair according to their intentions. Although there were some schedule changes to our operation, we can say that ‘all is well that ends well’. We appreciate your kind support.

[The excursus]

Preceding this activity, the architect team carried out the measuring survey and urgent measure for the old families’ whitewashed warehouses in Karakuwa, Kesennuma City on April 30th and in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture on May 1st.

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