Honjo-Yuri House in Akita Prefecture
Former House of the Yoshio Family
This is English site
- Original location
- Oouchi Town, Yuri County, Akita Prefecture (now Yuri-Honjo City, Akita Prefecture)
- Period of construction
- At the end of the 19th century (Meiji period)
- Floor space
- 427m2 (118 tsubo)
- Form of the house
- Double middle-gate structure
- Mr. Teruhiko Yoshio
- Cultural property No. 7 of Kawasaki Town, Miyagi Prefecture (designated in 2002)
This house originally stood in the former Oouchi Town, on the Honjo Plain in the southern part of Akita Prefecture. In this region, it snows heavily and is very cold during the winter.
Members of the Yoshio family who lived at this house were extensively engaged in agriculture and forestry, and had many servants. It was one of the largest houses in the Tohoku region.
Characteristics of the house – double middle-gate structure
The form of this house is called “Ryochumon zukuri” (double middle-gate structure). There is a protruding entrance section on both sides of the house. The entrance on the stall side was used by residents and servants. The other entrance was a special hallway to welcome guests.
Floor plan of Honjo-Yuri House. Scale = 1:60
- Horses for agricultural use were kept here. In this region, the umaya was built inside the main house and was convenient for protecting horses from the winter cold and taking care of them.
- The niwa was a dirt floor used as a work area for harvesting and making items out of straw during the winter, on rainy days, and at night.
- This was the entrance where formal guests were received.
It had the structure of a heya-chumon (a separate room and an inner gate) because it protruded to the front with the adjoining heya (room).
- This was used as the bedroom for the husband and wife who owned the house. The room also accommodated wardrobes.
- This room was used for welcoming regular visitors as well as for small gatherings.
- The kamizashiki was the formal guest reception room with a tokonoma. The shimozashiki was adjacent to the kamizashiki.
- This was the living room used by the household’s elderly couple. It protruded to the back with the adjoining heya (room) and had the structure of an ura-chumon (a back-middle gate).
- This was used as the bedroom for the second and third sons (younger brothers of the husband who owned the house). Along with the inkyo next door, this room protruded to the back and took the form of an ura-chumon.
- This was used to store clothes and futon beds for guests. The mezzanine was used for storing other items.
- This was a living room for family members. It was an everyday space where they sat in a circle and had meals around the open fireplace (called yururi, yuriri or yurun in this region).
- This was used for cooking food and setting the table. The mezzanine was where the employees slept.
- There was a sink in this part of the kitchen. Pickles, miso (soybean paste), etc. were stored at the far end.
- It is likely that this room was used for live-in female servants to stay and sleep.