Two Reasons Why Living in a Kominka, a Japanese Traditional House is Ecological

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Once I understood what it means to earn or spend money, I stopped feeling guilty of making money. That is how you can change your perception of money. Think of all good qualities of money, list them up if necessary, and read them out loud every day. Soon, you will form a new belief about money.


A few days ago I changed our Fusuma doors to Sudo doors in the Tatami rooms. Sudo is the summer version of Fusuma, and it has good ventilation since the wind can go through it.


This is Fusuma.


This is Sudo.


In the book Zen and a way of Sustainable Prosperity, I wrote about Japanese traditional houses having an environmentally friendly design. Sudo is one example of it; it makes the rooms cool naturally during the summer season. We don’t have to use air-conditioners because of it.


When you go to Kyoto, you often see Machiya, traditional wooden townhouses. You can see Sudo there, too, when you visit there in summer. The design of making the house cool in summer is common in most Japanese traditional houses which we call Kominka.


The other reason why I feel living in a Kominka is ecological is that it is old. Our house is over 100 years old, for instance. Reusing something or using things for a long time is one of the most environmentally friendly things we can do. Unfortunately, a lot of Kominka are uninhabited and running down, so there is a movement to restore those Kominka in Japan now. About the half of the local network members in Hino live in a Kominka, and some of us renovated the houses and started cafes.


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