SILK HOUSES OF OGIMACHI


The Minka, literally the ‘house of the people’, are vernacular homes constructed in one of several traditional Japanese building styles characterised by their basic structure and roof shape.  The Gassho-Zukuri roof forms of Ogimachi are calculated to shed large quantities of rainwater, preventing the thatch from rotting, and the name is derived from their similarity to two hands in prayer. No nails or other metal materials are used, requiring intricate rope work for detailing of the structural sections. Translucent windowpanes allow luminescent light to flood the upper floors, where silkworm larvae are fed with mulberry leaves and in turn spin silken cocoons, forming a valuable harvest.