Kuma Words 3

Kuma Words 3

Soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake, we organized a project called EJP (Eastern Japan Products), supporting local craftsmen in the Tohoku region by promoting their work throughout the rest of Japan. Following this, a series of reconstruction projects in Minami Sanriku was launched. The town of Minami Sanriku was swept away in an instant by the 3.11 Tsunami, so the area was raised in preparation for any future tsunamis. We were very concerned about how we could bring some humanness to this new artificial ground and make it approachable once again.
Our answer was to use a kind of nostalgic and “noisy” architectural vocabulary that includes a conventional gabled roof, inexpensive corrugated plastic and Engawa, with shop curtains designed by Chie Morimoto. This lively and noisy vocabulary has been thoroughly developed in our project of Tetchan Yakiroti bars.
I must tell you about another disaster area, as well. Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu was seriously damaged last year by big earthquakes. At Hitoyoshi Kuma, known as the unexplored utopian region in Kumamoto, we started a project with young people in the region. The first scheme was a wooden planter box developed during a competition for high school students, for which I was a judge.