Historic Architecture Network (a.k.a. HARNET) is an organization, conducted by members from 35 municipalities in Japan, 5 related associations and 16 community-development organizations. (As of Sep, 2013)
In Japanese country side, there are quite a few historic buildings such are Kominka, Machiya, Samurai’s houses, mansions where village headmen used to live in Edo period, sake distilleries, banks, hospital and manufactures. These buildings are treasures peculiar to Japan, and it is important to preserve such treasury assets as to protect the culture.
However, depopulation in the rural areas has led these buildings become vacant, and such abundant houses have been rapidly increasing across the area. Moreover, Japan’s consumerism and inherent issues demolished many of them to replace with a concrete jungle. It has now come to this point, where our historic buildings have become endangered.
We proposed and discussed about how we should rebuild architectural laws, imposed on our historic buildings, and how we can make a better use of the buildings.
This is because the current laws are the major burdens and causes for demolishing or reconstruct old buildings, and, in order to preserve them, we would be required to redesign the entire architecture and to install more than necessary equipments for fire safety and prevention, which of course will ruin the charm already existed and will make the venue look rather artificial.
We discussed about these matters and suggested that we rebuild some of the regulations and rules that unable us from making the best use of our historic buildings and encourage regional communities to be responsible about looking after them. We work to develop and promote best conservation practices.
I hope you find this letter well and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.