The Kiyomiya House

by Hiro, Kenji and Sam

I went to a museum called Minkaen and it's about Japanese culture. This is about what kind of things I saw. The main house I was working on was the one called Kiyomiya. It was built in the 17th century and it was built in Noborita. The guy who lived there grew rice, vegetables and other things to live. It faces the kabuki theater and that is the south and east of Japan.There they have big windows that have little squares on them so the animals canıt come in. They make the fire so the bugs wonıt come in. They also make fire so the water canıt come in when itıs rainy. The people moved the house by taking parts from top to bottom and writing a number on each part to remember where it goes. The house was big and beautiful and I really liked it.

My job at Minka-en House number sixteen was to give a description outside of the building and to see what materials were used to make that house. When I first entered the Kiyomiya house, I entered the stone kitchen. Some men were making a fire to make the straw roof stronger so they will not rot. The middle room was one step above the ground and had a smooth wooden floor. The middle room connects to two other rooms, the sleeping and storage room and the guest room. The sleeping and storage room’s floor was bamboo and smooth wood. The guest room floor was tatami. All the walls on the inside and outside were made out of earth with straw mixed into it. There were lattice windows with no glass in them to keep big wild animals out. Outside there was an exhibition room where they put all the farming tools. There was also an outdoor privy where the toilet was dug into the ground. I have learned a lot from this trip. I hope to go there again.

The house we went to is an old fashioned farmhouse with a shed in back. When we went into the house there was a big fireplace to cook the food. You did not have to take your shoes off to get into the kitchen, but it is still part of the house because it acts like a genkan. In the kitchen there were big bowls and mallets for grinding up rice. In the center room, you had to take your shoes off. There was also a fireplace but smaller then the one in the kitchen and this fireplace was for warmth. In this room there were big pots full of sake, a type of Japanese wine. My favorite thing in the house was the big chest at the center of the room.  The reception room was mainly full of dressers and very smoky. In one corner there was a tiny fireplace in a pot, and in another corner there was a tiny candle. In the shed and the storage room ,there were lots of things a Japanese person would need :fishing gear, brooms and dusters, knives and lots of other things. In the shed there were usually farming tools like gloves and rakes. A particularly interesting item was a tiny waterwheel that was fake. This building was my favorite out of all the other buildings we saw, and this field trip was my favorite field trip of the year.      

The Group's Tokaido Paragraph:

Once upon a time, in the 17th century, there was a traveler on the Tokaido Road who came upon an old farmhouse, which had an outside shed and privy. A fire was burning in the kitchen, yet, no one was home. The traveler cautiously entered the stone kitchen and proceeded into the next room, tripping over the futon lying on the wooden floor. As he looked up, he saw the naturally curved beams of the ceiling. He stumbled to the door and opened it. 


Site constructed by Bridgette Fincher

Text by the students

Photographs by Mrs. Stemper- the clan's chaperone