I was born in Japan, grew up in Japan; and I am an architect in Japan: what does that mean? This is the question I ask myself every day.
It is a will to maximize the benefits of nature that underlies the Japanese architectures. Just like we hunt in the woods, fish in the river, and pick fruits and vegetables from the fields to eat, we have found and developed the materials in our natural environment, and have built our houses to live in from those materials. It has just turned out like this. There is nothing special about it. What I would like to emphasize here is that the houses that are made out of nature will do no harm to not only the natural environment but also to people living in. That is what “Kyosei (coexist)” means. Human beings are part of natural environment. In my architecture, I willingly use materials taken from our natural environment. I appreciate the beauty of aging of each material; the colour of the pine joist and cedar board, or the frayed edges of the clay walls, etc. Natural materials show gradual and smooth maturity as they age, which is totally different from the aging deterioration of the artificial materials. I believe lives of the natural materials are in harmony with the life of the natural environment; they live in the same time stream. Home must be universal in order to accommodate all the values that frequently shift from one another. We are born there, grow there, have family there, and age there. Home is the place where layers of lives of individuals exist. It is required for home to be precise enough to adjust to complexity as well as tolerant enough to remain as a symbol of a family for decades. With modern sensibility, from materials from natural environment, and using traditional techniques correctly, I architect
Miura-city Misaki-machi Koajiro 25-4