歴史

In the Edo Period, when the Kyoto style was
in vogue, the history and culture of Takayama
began a colorful period.
With Mt. Norikura to the East, Mt. Ontake to the South, Mt. Hakusan to the West, and Mt. Tateyama to the North, Hida Takayama is embraced by numerous mountains.
Originally a small mountain village called “Yasukawa-mura,” a big sensation was created in Takayama in the early Edo period.
As a retainer of the Oda, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa clans, Nagachika Kanamori became the first ruler of the Takayama domain, in reward for his feats in the Battle of Sekigahara.
Nagachika adopted the grid plan to construct the city area, modeling it after Kyoto, gathering temples in Higashiyama, constructing samurai mansions, and a craftsman district to shape the original form of the present-day Takayama City.
The landscape of the one-time mountain village Takayama made a drastic change.
In 1692, the Kanamori clan was transferred and Hida became a territory under the direct control of the Tokugawa shogunate. Since then, Takayama has prospered as a city for merchants and craftsmen.
This is how the Takayama culture began to blossom around the culture of local businessmen.

古キヲマモリ、良キヲホコル。

The Kusakabe Family -- Deep Tradition and Quaint Machiya Architecture

Under the shogunate’s direct rule, the Kusakabe family, a merchant under the trade name “Taniya,” prospered as a purveyor to the Tokugawa shogunate (represented by the local magistrate).
In 1852, Kusakabe served as a kakeya, or a lender to fund payments to the government, and then went into the money changing business.
The family’s residence caught fire in the 1875 conflagration, but what was completed four years after the fire, or in 1879, is the current residence.
People of Hida, the wood country, originally have excellent architectural skills, and are called “Hida artisans.”
The Hida artisans have produced a number of splendid buildings to date.
The master builder of this residence was then-famous workman Jisuke Kawashiri.
He devoted his skills to this building, completing a magnificent residence preserving the exact architectural style of the Edo period.
The two-story main building is made entirely of Japanese Cypress, with gable walls, stepped roofs, and partially double height hall.
Beams and post columns are structured robustly, the roofs are modestly sloped, and the eaves are wide.
In addition, the latticed bay window in the facade, embedded lattice, variable window cut, the wooden parts finished with dark brown paint (red iron oxide mixed with soot); all of these are the features characteristic to the townhouse structure, or machiya structure, of Takayama remaining from the Edo period.
There are two other earthen storehouses.
The buildings were designated as important cultural properties by the national government in 1966, the first private house of the Meiji architecture to be designated as such, and since then have been open to public as a folk museum.
To date, we have carefully conserved the buildings with a sole hope; to welcome here as many people as possible to get them acquainted with Takayama, Kusakabe, and their history and culture.

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