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Inside the Japanese House: Part II

October 10, 2023 at 10:00:00 PM



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 will delve directly into the Japanese house. We will focus on two styles of traditional Japanese architecture; minka, the farmhouse, and machiya, the merchant house. Beyond just buildings styles, these are a cultural heritage that can be used to more deeply understand the the traditions from which they were conceived.

Moving to a more contemporary context, we will also discuss how perceived modern development and economic pressures have challenged the building industry in Japan and explore the resulting environmental and cultural impacts. 

Part III of the series will be held on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023. You can find registration and information for Part III here.

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.

Adam Zgola

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