How They Built Houses in Japan

In 1979, to commemorate 20 years of partnership between the sister cities of Boston and Kyoto, 43 enormous crates arrived at the Boston Children’s Museum. The crates contained, in bits and pieces, a nineteenth-century, kyo-machiya style townhouse of the sort used as workshop and dwelling by Kyoto merchants. Carpenters from Japan accompanied the boxes and spent months in the museum, diligently putting the house back together for permanent display. The current exhibit, located on the museum’s third floor, opens with this five-minute video showing the carpenters at work.

By Rachel Strickland and Richard Leacock Copyright © 1981 The Children's Museum

Rebuilding an Old Japanese House

For more about Japanese architecture, read “Works and Woods," in Harvard Magazine’s September-October 2008 issue. 

Sub topics

You might also like

Historic Humor

University Archives to preserve Harvard Lampoon materials

Academia’s Absence from Homelessness

“The lack of dedicated research funding in this area is a major, major problem.”

The Enterprise Research Campus, Part Two

Tishman Speyer signals readiness to pursue approval for second phase of commercial development.  

Most popular

Claudine Gay in First Post-Presidency Appearance

At Morning Prayers, speaks of resilience and the unknown

Harvard Portrait: Martin Puchner

The English professor has already written three books and edited the 6,000-page third edition of the Norton Anthology of World Literature.

Who Built the Pyramids?

Not slaves. Archaeologist Mark Lehner, digging deeper, discovers a city of privileged workers.

More to explore

Exploring Political Tribalism and American Politics

Mina Cikara explores how political tribalism feeds the American bipartisan divide.

Private Equity in Medicine and the Quality of Care

Hundreds of U.S. hospitals are owned by private equity firms—does monetizing medicine affect the quality of care?

Construction on Commercial Enterprise Research Campus in Allston

Construction on Harvard’s commercial enterprise research campus and new theater in Allston