An old vernacular house of honbyakusho (a titled peasant), built in the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), is preserved in the precinct of Kozoji Temple in Kakuda City, Miyagi Prefecture.
It is a rectangular building, 14.9 m wide and 7.8 m deep, with a hipped roof that descends from the ridge on four sides of the building. The roof has a smoke control opening with a comb-shaped bargeboard.
As was typical to a farmer’s house in this region, there is no partition between the living room and Doma (the earth-floored space). The pillars are made of thick and unfinished lumbers, supported by the Torii-date construction (the old architectural style using struts).
The Sato family was called by their hereditary house name “Kurumaya.” It is said that a Shugendo practitioner had lived in this house before the Sato family. The house was relocated to its present location in 1972 and was designated as an important cultural property by the prefecture.
An old farm house built in the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868) is preserved in Jusanzuka Park in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture. It is a standard farm house of the time.
The house has a hipped roof that descends from the ridge on four sides of the building. As was typical to a farmer’s house in this region, the floor is divided evenly into four rooms, which is called the Natori-style floor planning. There is no partition between the rooms and Doma (the earth-floored space). The ridge is supported by three pillars respectively called Ushimochi-bashira, Hoito-bashira and Yomekakushi-bashira, which are made of unfinished lumbers. The pillars create simple but stately atmosphere, typically felt in the Tohoku region.
The house was lived by some family until 1973. It was designated as an Important Cultural Property by the national government in 1974, and after the repair work conducted from 1975 to 1976, it was relocated to its present location. It is a precious historical property that brings the life of farmers in the Edo period to the present day.
This old house of the Mitobe family in Historical Museum of Hokkaido in Date City is the oldest existing house of a farmer who moved from the Sendai domain (present-day Miyagi Prefecture) and was engaged in the development of the land in Hokkaido. It was nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1971.
The house was built at the time of their settlement in 1872 by a carpenter from Watari in the Sendai domain. It was a house in Yosemune-zukuri style with thatched roof and has two rooms and the doma (the earth floor space). The traditional wood joinery techniques typical of the Sendai area in those days are employed and no nails were used.
Built almost at the same time as the construction of Tondenhei barracks, this old house is a precious historic site that tells us of the development history of Date City.
Kotoni Tondenhei (Japanese soldier-farmer) Village was located in Kotoni, Nishi-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido. This is a designated National Historic Site. In answer to the plea submitted by Kuroda Kiyotaka, assistance commissioner of the Hokkaido Development Commission, the system of Tondenhei was established in 1873 to accelerate the development of the land in Hokkaido as well as to defend the northern frontier. An influx of people came from Honshu to help the development of this land. The government constructed the settlements for those Tondenhei soldiers.
Kotoni Tondenhei Village was the first to be constructed. Once there were more than 200 barracks stood in close formation. The existing barrack was the one given to one of the soldiers, Senjiro Kiyono, in 1875. It was preserved until 1970, and was restored to the original form in 1972. Inside the house are two rooms, the earth floor space (Doma) and the wooden floored kitchen with the sink. This barrack was a home that generated the power to develop the new land.
Old Kuroiwa residence is an old private house located in Misumai, Minami-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido. In 1872, when the Usu Shindo Road was opened to traffic, the house was built as a national travelers’ lodge named Misumai Tsukoya. It was used for the lodge until 1884, and then it was disposed of by the government to the Kuroiwa family, the former manager of the lodge. Since then the three generations of the Kuroiwa family resided and ran a private inn here. The house was bought by the city and was designated as a municipal tangible cultural property in 1984.
The house is composed of two sections; the older one is what was used as the Tsukoya lodge and the newer one was added by the Kuroiwa family later. The newer section, which includes the stable and the storehouse, is open to the public as a historical museum, where visitors can learn about the life of farmers in the pioneering period. In 2005, the house was designated as a Hokkaido Heritage.
Old Shimoyoichi Unjoya in Yoichi Town in Hokkaido is a nationally designated Historic Site. Unjoya was a shop established at the center of a fish market by the merchants who contracted for selling fish for the Matsumae domain in the Edo period (1603-1868).
With the increase in the number of Wajin (ethnic Japanese), the contractors came to assume an official function as agents of the state and controlled fisheries by collecting a levy from fishers.
During the herring season, the unjoya was operated by the manager (shihainin) with the assistance of a bookkeeper (choba), an interpreter (tsuji) and overseers (bannin), who supervised Ainu labor. In the off-season in winter, only the observers stayed at the shop.
The system of contract fisheries was abolished when the Development Agency (Kaitakushi) was established by the Meiji government in 1869. The premises of unjoya were bought by the government and changed to accommodation facilities, meeting halls and police stations.
Old Shimoyoichi Unjoya is the only existing unjoya building, which was dismantled and restored according to the design drawing made at the time of its reconstruction in 1853.
The residence of the Kuchiba family, who acted as Yorigumi (a quasi-principal retainer) of the Choshu domain during the Edo period, is preserved in its original form in Horiuchi Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings located in Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Among the residence of high-ranked warriors in this district, the Kuchiba family’s residence is relatively old and it is a precious historic site as one of the small number of warriors’ residences preserved in the country. The main building and Omote-mon (the front gate) are nationally designated Important cultural Properties.
The main building is supposed to have been built from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries. It is in the kirizuma-style (a house with a gable roof) with sangawarabuki (with base tiles) and has a protruding wing in the Irimoya-style. Characteristically, the innermost room has the adjacent room called “ai-no-ma,” where guardsmen stationed to protect the master.
The front gate is a long roofed-gate with a width of 22.2 m and a depth of 4.9 m. It is built in the Irimoya-style with hongawarabuki (with formal tiles), the front side of which is plastered with white clay and has beautiful sea slug walls covering its lower part. It is said that this magnificent gate had been used for the domain lord’s manor in Edo before being relocated to this place. It is the largest existing gate of a warrior’s residence in the city.
Yagura was a weapons storage house in old-day Japan, and yagura with high ceiling was used as a watch tower, which was called monomi (lookout) yagura.
The residence of the Masuda family, who acted as Eitaigaro (the first rank feudatories) of the domain, used to be located in San-no-maru (the 3rd castle) area of Hagi Castle. It was a one-storied house in Irimoya-zukuri style, standing on the stone wall of 1.8 m tall. It functioned as the watch tower to check the visitors going through the Somon Gate.
The Masuda family’s residence was one of “yagura nagaya (a tenement house with the watch tower),” which were constructed at every Somon Gate of the castle. Today, this is the only existing yagura nagaya in this town. Elaborate decorative techniques such as ridge tiles, embellishment of gable pediments and lattice windows can be seen.
The area around the residence is designated as a preservation district for historic site, where many nagaya-mon (the gate of yagura nagaya) remain and create an atmosphere of old-fashioned castle town.