Efforts Underway to Save "Kyomachiya" Traditional Houses

Society Culture

Kyoto, April 1 (Jiji Press)--People in Kyoto are looking to preserve traditional "kyomachiya" wooden houses, which had lined the streets of the western Japan city but are now dwindling in number.

Many are torn down due to old age, the aging of owners and high maintenance costs. People voice disappointment that the long-standing culture is disappearing.

Most kyomachiya houses were built before the building standards law was implemented in 1950.

Kyomachiya houses are often referred to as "unagi no nedoko," or bed of eels, because of their long, narrow structure.

Many are adorned with "mushikomado" windows made of hardened dirt and "kyogoshi" lattices, which obscure the view from outside without entirely blocking the view from inside.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press