Okinawa building

Okinawa building

  |   Trip

Original residenial building seems using same floor layout. I visit the seceral old building and they were all same. Front space is 5.5m x 2.7m which is only 160 sqft that is half of the building so whole building is only 320 sqft. It also contains porch around and door are left open until they get sleep. That is what makes this space feel so relax and open even in such a small size. This is well desined layout that I want to make one up in Canada for summer cabin.

One key factor for copying this building is to keep the ceiling height in same. The beams are only in 6feet heigh but I am 5″10″ so not problem for me, may be problem for many of my friend.

Timber are 100mm x 100mm, it is small for Canada, may need to increase to 5 inch. All joinery are traditional joinery, that uses locking mechanizm. Material seems oak to me but no body could answer this, they have not seen any wood since the war burned all trees on this island.


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(Sanshin) three stringer Okinawa music culture

  |   Trip

Sanshin, it means three stringer. It is main instrument people use. The note for this music even wront in kanji charactor. Most songs are the words from people past that teachs things, ideas and enjoing life, it contains so many meaning, without knowing language, it is hard to understand. It is not Japanese language, so I would not understand it, but sounds are so reluxed, I was not able to leave the place for while.


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Shisar (okinawa culture)

  |   Trip

Okinawas is very rich in their culture. They live in their own language, house style is different and eat and drink different, also they loved to sing and dance.

Shisar is the two set of lion that protect their house always on their gate to the house. They also have this on roof. Desing of these are all different some are very serious look but mostly very comical look.


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Back packers in Okinawa

  |   Trip

It is not common for Japanese to stay in back packers but there are some available. Okinawas is part of tropical, worm all year round. It is not like Canada, they do not need to worry about snowload or insuration. All house seems very small in size but feel lots of space becuase they open their windows and doors all the way.

This back pakcer is pioneer for Okinawa area and I knew their place before I go. People were very frinedly and I met the guy who roast the coffee in a morning. It was very fresh and deep taste.  By the way, guys smoking Drum, glass is prohibited in Japan.

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Indigo (Aizome)

  |   Trip

I visit Okinawas for my T-shirt. I am making hand died T-shirt for my staff. Okinawas has very unique indigo that only hearvest on this island. All T-shirt will be die and dry, about 10 times, all hand work, very expensive! Push the cloth into indigo bucket, and squeeze without letting it touch to air for about three minute, once it lift from buket, it is green but only takes minute to change color to indigo blue.

This indigo is alive, they need to stair the bucket every day and add honey and “Awamori” Okinawa vodka in it. Awamori is only liquor they drinnk and they use it for many application, even as medicine.

Making white back ground was much simpler than I thought. The glue “chemical” just washed out once it drys up. It was very fun trying out. $70.00 a piece, I hope I have enough money left to give out to all my friend.


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Chase bandshell in provincial TV commercial

  |   Announcement

I heard about Chase bandshell I designed last year and build this spring, was on commercial from three people, so I was watching TV to find out. Yes, there was! So I searched web to see if I can see more, then I found one very easy.

It is the project that BC is promoting, they call “Spirit Square” seems like trying to build people to get together and fun funded by provincial government. It was my mistake and my stupidity that had no press release or even job site sign on this project. Many people I meet they talk about this building without knowing that I actualy design the building and build this one.

But, today, I got call from Victoria office about bandshell for Victoria. They asked me if I can send picture. I hope they will ask me more than just picture!

Click picture to check the film, there will be more opportunity for other local people to build theirs!


Sprit square film

TV commercial

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Our mission (Shin.Gi.Zai)

  |   Design

Shin also pronounce as “Kokoro” It describe heart, mind, ideas that comes out from sprits. But it also gives image of honesty, sincerity by looking at character. I am taking this as design in our activity.

Gi also pronounce as “Waza” It is skill that achieved from long continuous discipline, that experts from normal skills. This is part we are taking and I have to admit I still have long way to go.

Zai means material. This one character also combine from two character which is “Tree” on left side and “Talent”  on right size. I should take tree is excellent versatile materials.

I have been separating Design, Craftsmanship and material to be separate factors so we can focus to target higher achievement as we move on. This concept that I had for while came together more definite by writing in three character in Japanese.

Especially, material is important. We are cutting tree, finishing their life. If we do not make good use of this, we might just live in plastic house. Now, our mission is to design with the heart, train ourselves so we do give another good life to trees.

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Kirl Willms sketch!

  |   Team/people

The picture was given by Designer Karl Willms. He described the three days of assemble on island and put all guys working on the cabin in a picture. He won over twenty award in just last year. He can sketch and paint very well and same talent goes into building space design. He still draw plan on table, use tracing paper for all his ideas. We do not want to lose this kind of ability by using computer too much.


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D frame in Shuswap lake

  |   Set up / assemble

Shuswap has been good weather up till we started putting this frame together this summer. Traditional style timber frame, all frame will be covered to protect from the weather and fully exposed inside house. It took almost 8 month by the time we started design the frame to complete set up on site.

I was very pleased with fiber quality and drying result. All tight grain, no loose knot and dried evenly with RF kiln, moisture content between 12% to 14%.

Main feature of this frame is hammer beam truss and beam with corbel and steel integrate in. House is not finished, no picture for the steel yet.

After a lot of study from past hammer beam truss, anyone knows the structural system, they will not say yes to design and build this truss without tension support system in place. Tension rod for this truss were very ordinary which is okay but I would wanted to put a bid more thought and twist the idea a bid but my idea was not supported this time…..

All fits well, some place needed to be adjusted a bid on site but nothing major. I am not 100% clear but I think there were about 400 pieces in this frame and it took 8 full days to complete assemble.

Another one good frame up on earth!




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