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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Antiquarian preserves architectural treasures

By Zenaida Serrano Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writer

Yoshihiro Takishita describes the process of rescuing historic Japanese farmhouses, or minka, in his book.
Yoshihiro Takishita created what is probably the tiniest housing niche in Japan when he took it upon himself to rescue historic Japanese farmhouses, or minka.

Now one of Japan's most well-known architectural designers, Takishita will share his knowledge with a lecture at 5:30 p.m. today at Hawaii Tokai International College.

In the 1970s, Takishita began to rescue these historic buildings — often without modern amenities and seen throughout the countryside in disrepair — by dismantling, moving and rebuilding the structures to make them useable, even moving one to Honolulu.

Takishita describes his inspiration and the process in "Japanese Country Style: Putting New Life into Old Houses" (Kodansha International), which introduces 16 homes that he rescued.

In the book, detailed sections on architectural structures and their construction describe how these houses were built to house several generations under one roof, and how the minka vary in size and detail depending on the social rank of the owner.

"Japanese Country Style" includes more than 300 color photographs and showcases the artful blending of traditional Japanese elements for modern living.

Takishita's lecture, sponsored by the Japan America Society of Hawaii, will include video and slide presentations, a reception and a book-signing. The book, which costs $45 at most bookstores, will be available at this event for $27.

Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for society members and $8 for the general public; $2 for parking. For details, call 524-4450.