Testing Buildings to Destruction

E-Defense Shake Table
Japan has engineered the world’s largest earthquake simulator, the nation’s first line of defense in a geophysical war.

Many older homes in Japan don’t meet modern earthquake code and have proven a major liability in deadly earthquakes like Kobe suffered in 1995. Full-scale testing to destruction at E-Defense gauges their widespread risk to society and the efficacy of reinforcing them with retrofits. Continue reading

Cookie Cutter or Order Made?

cookie cutter homes


This week the Japan Times ran an article comparing the house we are building in Onjuku, Chiba to he process of building the typical Japanese corporate homebuilder’s home.

I had a bit of correspondance with the article’s author, Philip Brasor, making the case why I think that hiring an architect to design your home is competitive in terms of cost. As a follow-up to the article, I’m publishing some of that correspondance below: Continue reading

Precut – Modern Japanese Timber Construction


Industrially precut timber framing has become the predominant house construction method throughout Japan. In this first short documentary, produced by BAKOKO, we explain the process from factory floor to building site. Like so much of its traditional culture, Japan has developed a highly efficient technological adaptation of an age-old building technique.

This video was originally posted at bakoko.jp