The nostalgic atmosphere of a small village captivated Atsushi and Mayumi Kawamoto when they visited the site for a new house they were to design last year. There was a big tree on top of the nearby hill, and next to the tree was a small shrine, overlooking the entire village. The setting of the village would likely remind Hayao Miyazaki fans (including movie director James Cameron whose depiction of the huge Hometree and the sacred Tree of Souls in Avatar are still fresh in our memories) of My Neighbor Totoro, an animated film in 1988 by Miyazaki. In their statement, the architect couple explain the concept wonderfully, and I rather not butcher the beauty of words with my poor translation. By the way, if you have children and happen to like this house, I encourage you to rent the film.
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Photos © Yoshiharu Hama