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Authorized NPO
“Japan Minka Revival Association”

Philosophy

Today, many minka*, after having survived under years of rough weather with many generations of families, are being demolished and lost due to changes in economics and social structures and also in lifestyles. Yet, traditional Japanese minka embody the dwelling culture of Japan as they are built with local materials and techniques by local people.

To preserve these minka, Japan Minka Revival Association (JMRA) has been engaging in various activities under the philosophy of “passing minka to the next generation” since its foundation in September 1997.

*“Minka” refers to a form of traditional Japanese housing that was once the primary form of Japanese residence.

Activities

Characteristics

1.
JMRA is a nation-wide network for owners and users of minka, architects, builders, craftsmen, researchers, cultural figures, media people and all others interested in minka.
2.
JMRA, aiming at support efforts to restore and recycle minka, actively assists town and village for their planning nationwide.
3.
JMRA does not only limit its activity to the preservation of minka, but also tries to understand future housing needs and dwelling culture.
4.
JMRA is shaped and enhanced by independent and voluntary activities of participating members.
5.
JMRA is a specified nonprofit corporation financially supported by membership fees, donations and operating revenue.

Summary of Activities

JMRA’s activities can be divided into three main areas.

1.Enlightenment and Dissemination ―Enjoy and learn about minka―

Issue the MINKA journal.
Edit and publish other printed minka-related materials.
Host Minka Forum every year.
Organize other events like field trips and seminars.
Offer a series of lectures at Minka School, Minka-juku, etc.
Conduct minka surveys around the nation.
Promote international exchange.
  • MINKA journal issued quarterly
  • JMRA’s publication: Examples of Minka Restoration (with 50 examples selected nationwide)
  • JMRA’s publication: Minka Restoration Techniques
  • JMRA’s publication: Minka with thatched roof
  • JMRA’s publication: Fascinating Minka Restoration (with examples selected nationwide)*out of print.
  • Minka Forum held every year but in a different region
  • Group photo in front of a restored minka in Miyama Town, Kyoto Pref.
  • Exhibition of minka artworks by members, held biannually
  • Minka rebuilt at Kew Gardens through UK-Japan collaboration
  • Observing thatched houses during trip to Korea
  • Group photo of tour participants in Germany
  • Nationwide survey on thatched houses; Members doing a survey in Ashikawa Village, Yamanashi Pref.
  • Nationwide survey on thatched houses; Members interviewing locals in Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano Pref.
  • Mowing reeds along Kitakami River with a local citizens’ group in Kitakami Town, Miyagi Pref.
  • Networking with Yasato Thatched Roof Preservation Association in Yasato Town, Ibaraki Pref.

2.Minka Restoration ―Preserve as many minka as possible―

Provide professional advice on restoration / recycling of minka.
Operate Minka Bank to connect those who wish to transfer minka with those who wish to have them.
Operate JMRA Kozai Network to promote circulation of kozai (old wooden building materials).
Set up Registered Specialists Group as a network of minka restoration specialists.
Offer a series of lectures at Minka School, Minka-juku, etc.
Introduce examples of minka restoration by member architects and constructors.
Award the Minka Restoration Encouragement Prize.

3.Minka Utilization ― Revive local communities through minka utilization ―

Collect examples of minka utilization and town planning and organize field trips.
Operate Minka Trust with the aim to revive local communities through the social use of large minka that are difficult to maintain as welfare, education and/or regional exchange facilities.

History

September 1997 Japan Minka Reuse & Recycle Association was founded.
May 2001 Rebuilt a minka at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London as an official project for the Japan 2001.
June 2001 Became a specified non-profit organization.
July 2001 Held the Symposium “Living with Culture in Japan and the UK” at the Kew and organized a minka tour to the Lake District.
September – October 2005 Organized a minka tour to Germany.
May 2009 Changed name to Japan Minka Revival Association.
September 2009 Organized a minka tour to northern France and formed a partnership with Maisons Paysannes de France (MPF).
September 2012 Organized a minka tour to southern France and deepened friendship with MPF.
December 2013 Became a certified specified non-profit organization.

Organization (as of July 2015)

Membership

We accept applications for membership at any time. Anyone who is interested in minka, agrees with JMRA’s ideas and objectives and/or wishes to take part in our activities is welcome to join us!

Full individual members

Initial fee: JPY 10,000 / Annual fee: JPY 12,000
As a full individual member:
You can take part in all of JMRA’s activities;
You have voting rights at General Assembly meetings;
You are eligible to become a board member / registered specialist; and
You receive periodic publications.

Supporting members

Initial fee: NA / Annual fee: JPY6,000
As a supporting member:
You can participate in JMRA’s events;
You can attend General Assembly meetings as an observer without voting rights; and
You receive periodic publications.

Supporting student members

Initial fee: NA / Annual fee: JPY3,000
As a supporting student member: You can participate in JMRA’s events;
You can attend General Assembly meetings as an observer without voting rights; and
You receive periodic publications.

Subcommittees

Click here.

inquiries

For any inquiries, contact the Secretariat at: info@minka.jp or click here.