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MACHIYA TOWNHOUSES

MACHIYA TOWNHOUSES
Kyoto, Japan
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BACKGROUND

The machiya of Kyoto are traditional townhouses dating from the Edo period (1603–1867). Born out of the city’s growing merchant class, they functioned as both residences and workspaces. Deep and narrow, with a shop in the front and a variety of living spaces in the rear, they once lined Kyoto’s streets. (...)

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HOW WE HELPED

Recently, groups of concerned citizens have called for efforts to protect the machiya and to create incentives for their preservation. WMF included the Kyoto machiya in the 2010 Watch to focus attention on local efforts. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

Thoughtful restoration and upgraded amenities can breathe new life into this historic building type, which has suffered from alterations and demolition. With construction of new machiya prohibited since the end of World War II, restoration of historic machiya is the only way for Japanese carpenters and craftsmen to maintain a link with a rich building tradition.

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IN THE MEDIA
Le World Monuments Fund pour la Sauvegarde des Machiya de Kyoto
Connaissance des Arts, Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Preserving Kyoto 'Machiya' Grows Urgent as Redevelopment Spreads
The Japan Times, Friday, November 7, 2008
2012 WATCH

The Kyoto Machiya Townhouses were included on the World Monuments Watch in 2010. Working with the Kyomachiya Revitalization Study Group, WMF helped restore a typical machiya, which has served as a model project and resource center for the preservation of this architectural and cultural tradition. Inclusion of the Kyoto Machiya Townhouses on the 2012 World Monuments Watch underscores the need for continued work in more neighborhoods, and for the integration of machiya preservation in urban planning policy.

SPOTLIGHT

World Monuments Watch Day

In Kyoto, Watch Day was celebrated on August 18 at Kamanza Cho-ie machiya during the Jizobon Festival. Local members of the community gathered for a meeting and ceremony at the machiya. A priest read a sutra, and the Kyoto Center for Community Collaboration created original, handmade “Watch Day” fans for the community.

On Youtube: 2012 Watch Day in Kyoto: Jizo-bon
In Dig Deeper: Watch Day Video

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Machiya Townhouses
Wallpaper: Machiya Townhouses
Machiya Townhouses
Wallpaper: Machiya Townhouses
Machiya Townhouses
Wallpaper: Machiya Townhouses