Konnichiwa! An 18th century Japanese village has grown up in California
Did you know that a restored 18th century Japanese countryside apartment complex from rural Japan is coming to our neighborhood? It's about to open in San Marino.
An extraordinary building of Japanese heritage is over three hundred years old. Together with the entire complex, it was moved from Marugame, Japan, to The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Shōya House, as it is known, served as the center of village life in Marugame in the 1700s.
During the renovation, a new yard was built on the 2-acre lot, in keeping with the original structures. A small garden with a pond and irrigation canal, agricultural plots and other landscape elements were also laid out. All reflecting the original environment of the complex.
The story of the relocation of a unique structure from Japan to California is thanks to the Yokoi family. In 2016, they transferred their historic family home to The Huntington. Representatives of the institution repeatedly visited Marugame and worked with Japanese architects. After all, it was necessary to develop a plan for moving the building and its further reconstruction in San Marino.
Therefore, starting in 2019, Japanese artisans worked with local architects, engineers and builders to restore the structures and reproduce traditional wooden and stone elements. Roof tiles and plaster were also restored. Special emphasis was placed on preserving Japanese traditions in woodworking and craftsmanship.
The Japanese Village is located next to the historic Huntington Japanese Garden. It too has been in existence for over a hundred years. So the Shōya House Japanese Heritage House and the surrounding elements will give Californians a glimpse into the rural life of the Japanese 300 years ago. And thus get a glimpse of their culture.
Shōya House will be open to the public daily starting October 21, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.
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What do you think of the Japanese village? Would you visit?