Last week I decided to go for a wander around Kew Gardens, and stumbled upon a reconstructed minka house. 民家 is the Japanese for minka, which can be split up into 民 meaning people and 家 meaning house; showing that minka can be translated as house of the people.

Minka are traditional Japanese houses made out of a sturdy wooden frame with mud plastered walls and a steeply sloping thatched roof. This design meant that they were easily rebuilt in case of earthquakes, and in snowy winters the roof could cope with the weather. The structures were incredibly eco friendly as the materials could be recycled or used as fuel when dismantled.

The shape of these houses is reminiscent of a Swiss chalet designed to survive rough weather conditions whilst providing ventilation during the summer.

In the house in Kew gardens there were numerous scrolls of information on the history of these houses, alongside a plaque stating that the project to move the minka to Kew was funded by an organisation (JMRRA) that funds the reconstruction of these historical houses. #savetheminka
It was such a peaceful setting and was a good excuse to do some research into older Japanese housing and architecture of the masses, and I would highly recommend a wander around the bamboo gardens encapsulating the Kew minka! Sayounara for now, Jooosiekins XXX

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