Located near Miyagawa River, this museum is a superb example of traditional Takayama architecture. Built in 1879 entirely of wood it has a single-storey section designed as the owner's residence and a two-storey warehouse. This warehouse, with its partly earthen floor and open beams contains fine examples of furniture and effects, arranged exactly as they would have been during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Kusakabe family were successful merchants which thrived in Takayama, particularly during the reign of the Tokugawa clan.
The Kusakabe's store was called "Taniya," and it basically lent money to the public office. Later the Kusakabe family also ran Taniya as an exchange house during the fifth year of the Kaei era(1852 AD).
In the eighth year of Meiji(1875 AD), Taniya burned down, and the present house was completely rebuilt four years later(in 1879 AD).
The leader of the carpenters who rebuilt the house, Jisuke Kawashiri, was an expert at the time. He devoted all his skill to the reconstruction and built an excellent house using the architecture of the Edo period.
The Kusakabe house has many characteristics of Edo architecture : the main part of the building has two-stories and a stairwell, all made of Japanese Cypress(Hinoki); the combination of beams and pillars leads a strong construction: the roof slants slightly with moderate eaves; the window has several slender latticeworks(Koushi); it is finished with a dark-brown paint made from soot. In addition, there are two warehouses made of mud and soil.
In the forty-first year of Showa (1966 AD), the Kusakabe house was designated as a national important cultural asset, because it is a prime example of Meiji era architecture. Since then, it has been open to the public as a folkcraft Museum.
Ubicación: 1-52 Ojin-machi, Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken, Japan
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