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Tue, Nov 14



Inside the Japanese House: Part III

Inside the Japanese House with Adam Zgola is a three-part seminar series exploring traditional Japanese homes through the lens of Architecture, Culture, and Handcraft.

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Inside the Japanese House: Part III
Inside the Japanese House: Part III

Time & Location

Nov 14, 2023, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM


About the event

About the Event:

The Japan Society of Boston is proud to present Inside the Japanese House, a three-part series exploring traditional Japanese homes through the lens of Architecture, Culture, and Handcraft. The series will be hosted by Adam Zgola, a carpenter specialized in traditional Japanese wooden construction with over two decades of experience in Japan.

Part I covered Adam’s early experiences as an apprentice craftsman in Japan. We discussed the opportunities and challenges of a Japanese apprenticeship, a process that results in a unique insight in the importance of tradition in handcraft and the responsibilities of craftsmen in the context of culture and society.

Part II delved directly into the Japanese house. We focused on one style of traditional Japanese architecture: minka, the farmhouse. We also discussed how perceived modern development and economic pressures have challenged the building industry in Japan and the resulting environmental and cultural impacts.

Our final part of the series will continue our conversation from the previous parts, as well as a broader conversation about the art of traditional Japanese handcraft, exploring concepts including wabisabi and mingei. Although these ideas are usually viewed as uniquely Japanese, Adam will share how their universal sentiments can be employed to better understand our own connection with objects and spaces. Within the context of our growing concerns for sustainability on this planet, this dialogue can help us reevaluate what it means to cherish an object or space using the Japanese house as a clear example.

Please join us for this very special one-of-a-kind seminar series. This is a free, hour-long presentation with Q&A hosted on Zoom. Once registered, the Zoom link will be in your confirmation email.

Adam Zgola

Adam Zgola specializes in Japanese wooden construction. Trained as a craftsman through a Japanese apprenticeship, his understanding of traditional architecture benefits from an access to generations of accumulated wisdom. Having spent 21 years studying and building in Japan, Adam is sensitive to the cultural and environmental influences that shaped this iconic architecture. 

He is active in the protection of historical buildings through restoration efforts and educational programs. As well, Adam is committed to maintaining the relevance of traditional skills and methods by applying them successfully in a modern context. 

As a philosophy, he feels that it is important to return to the idea of the house as handcraft; a more sustainable and holistic understanding which fosters a deeper connections with the spaces in which we live, grow, and raise our families.

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