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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A home away from home

The Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売 has this interesting Yomiuri Shimbun 読売新聞 article posted on its website ("Novelist honored with opening of Japanese house in Taiwan" http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20100120TDY03004.htm):

"A traditional Japanese house that was shipped from Ōichō おおい町, Fukui Prefecture 福井県, to northern Taiwan and rebuilt there as part of exchanges between quake-stricken areas in the two countries will open in April as a memorial to Japanese novelist Tsutomu Mizukami 水上勉. The house called Ittekisui Kinenkan 一滴水記念館 has been erected in the northern city of Tanshui (Tansui) 淡水. It features a library with a collection that includes books by Shunshin Chin 陳舜臣, 85, a Taiwanese-Japanese novelist who lives in Kōbe 神戸, as well as books written by Mizukami (1919-2004). The house will be used to foster greater cooperation between volunteers from the two countries and help with cultural exchanges. The relocation project was started by Machi-Communication まち・コミュニケーション, a residents group in Kōbe's Nagata Ward 長田区 that was set up to support postearthquake reconstruction efforts in the city and which provided assistance to areas of Taiwan that were hit by a massive earthquake in September 1999. The house, which is located in an area being developed as a park, is a one-story, 160-square-meter house with a gable roof and white walls. It was named after a museum of literature called Jakushu Itteki Bunko 若洲一滴文庫, which was set up by Mizukami in Ōichō, the novelist's hometown. The residents group holds meetings at a different traditional house, which they transported and built in Nagata Ward in 2004. A group visiting from Taiwan were impressed by the quaint, historic feel of the house. Consequently, the Kōbe-based group came up with a plan to relocate an old Japanese house to Taiwan. The group found a 90-year-old private house in Ōichō, which was later discovered to have been built by Mizukami's father, a chief carpenter."

The original Japanese-language article can be found here: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/culture/news/20100119-OYT1T00829.htm, and includes a photograph of the house:

(http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/zoom/20100119-OYT9I00824.htm)

Here's a link to an older Taipei Times article on the house: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/07/23/2003418302

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