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My Avocation

IMG_8116It’s been 6 years since my husband and I decided to restore our old family house in Hiroshima.  It was our grandparents house, 250 years old at least.  No one lived in it for nearly 30 years since my grandfather past away and it was just a matter of time before this poor old girl collapsed.  We knew it was going to take loads of money and time to fix it.  And there were loads of problems.  To pick a few:

 

  1. It is not mine.  My brother, being the oldest male sibling, is expected to inherit.
  2. Expect for me, no one in the family sees the value in fixing it.
  3. Some of the damages of the house are just too far gone.
  4. We usually live in Australia!

 

It wasn’t just my family.  Even our neighbours in Hiroshima thought we were crazy.  Some suggested we bulldose it and make a car park.  What a horrifying idea…

 

I have lived away from Japan for decades to realise one of the great things about this country is its unique culture and history.  This house has plenty of that and that alone is worth saving.  I also have precious childhood memories of this house.  I was raised and grew up in Tokyo but spent many summer holidays here in Hiroshima.  This small town was known to have lots of “Kura“, traditional warehouse/storage.  Sadly, they are disappearing.  Why? Luck of appreciation, tradesmen are hard to find, cost too much to maintain.

 

My big thanks to my beloved husband who made me see the value of this historical architecture and the importance of passing it onto future generations, not to mention actually doing all the “dirty” work.

 

I am determined to restore this house, no matter what anyone says.   This is probably my life time project.  One day maybe we can turn it into accommodation or cafe or event space.  Who knows.  So watch this space.