JDW2013 / Lessons in bamboo

Rin Rin Popolo, to be built in Hayashi-giwa, Iriya, an agricultural-based Minamisanriku village inland from the sea, is a small gathering place for the community. A prominent rock stands across from the home of Yamaguchi Kiyoko-san backed by a chestnut tree. Alongside this local natural “monument”, we will construct an aerial bamboo platform – a stage for the local folks to sit, chat, sipping tea, with a great view to the magnificent landscape defining Iriya. While this quiet village did not suffer the direct sweep of the 3.11 tsunami, its villagers have relatives and friends who perished. As with many rural settings throughout Japan, the remaining villagers worry about the declining population and Iriya’s future.

During our workshop, by many hands and with resources available to us, we will build this「小さなみんなの舞台」a “Small Stage for All” from start to finish.

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This post, from Saturday August 3rd, was written by University of Tokyo student Takaharu Igarashi:

Yesterday we cut the bamboo needed for the project. The day started with carrying these from the cutting site to the project site. Long, short, thick, thin, straight, curved… no two bamboo stalks were identical. 今日は、切り出した数十本の竹を竹林から運び出すことから始まりました。全ての竹がそれぞれに違った表情を持っています。

Mr. Yamaguchi, a veteran carpenter, gives us a lesson on how to tie bamboo together with ropes. 棟梁である山口さんに竹の結び付け方をご指導いただきました。

Cutting off the tree branches hanging over the construction site and getting the place ready for work. 現場の上を覆う枝を切って、作業ができるよう現場を整備しています。

We took a short break on the bamboo. Looking up at the blue sky, surrounded by mountains and trees, we closely felt nature around us. 竹の上で一休み。青々とした木々と蝉の声に囲まれ、青い空を見上げています。

Actually laying out the bamboo and trying to figure out the best way to place them on site. During this process, there was an exciting moment when I got a glimpse of the final picture of what we’re trying to build. 現場で実際に竹を基礎として配置してみて具合を試しています。その過程で今まさに作ろうとしているものの片鱗が見えたときは、完成への純粋なわくわく感が止まりませんでした。

A bit about today’s contributor:
Takaharu is a freshman at the University of Tokyo. Shortly after being born in Iwate, his father’s job took his family to Shizuoka, Gunma, Los Angeles and Tokyo, and for the last nine years, he has lived in Yokohama-city, Kanagawa. He used to play tennis in both junior and senior high schools and now has started playing basketball in college.  He is also really into listening to music, which has mentally supported him all the time.


Read more about this year’s program participants here.

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