Is Jackie Chan building the Machiya?

Posted on December 28, 2011


Seriously, I thought it was Jackie Chan at 00:43 in the video below. I know he’s Chinese but while searching for videos of Machiya building, I thought it was him helping the other construction workers build that Machiya. But of course, it’s so not him.

But that doesn’t end this blog right here. I got to that point because of searching for actual constructions of Machiya. The first time I heard about it was last week. Co-workers told me that it holds a historical significance for Japanese culture. And after looking it up, indeed it is a significant part of Japanese history specifically in the field of architecture.

machi (町): town
ya (家 or 屋): house (家) or shop (屋)

Back in the days of the Heian period, the chōnin, townspeople composed of craftsmen and merchants, lived in a Machiya. This type of structure usually had front parts with wooden lattices or the kōshi. This part of the Machiya was commonly rented out to thread shops, shops selling rice, geisha houses, and stores selling liquors among other types of shops. One unique part of this townhouse was the fact that it had two doors with different functions. There’s a side door for everyday use to get in and out. The Ō-do or the big door was used to transport big stuffs and items.

A strong characteristic of a Machiya is its location. Usually, Machiyas would be situated very close to another unit providing just a small walkway for people to pass through. The best thing about this was its sense of community. People had a sense of connection to their neighbors. However, the modern architectural trend demanded that most of these units be demolished due to industrialization. Some other reasons were for the safety of the community like fire prevention. Through the years, this part of history and culture of Japan has also been demolished.

Now, even when it’s not Jackie Chan who will build it, I would really delight in seeing Machiya units being rebuilt. That’s why the news on Come on UP rebuilding a Machiya at Kansai, Osaka is definitely a push forward to Japanese culture.

It’s time to rebuild the demolished part of history. One house at a time. This time, not just an ordinary share house but a Machiya is soon to rise in Kansai, Osaka.

Wanna learn more about this rebuilding endeavor? You can take part if you’re in the area. Check out the details by clicking this.

Follow us on Twitter @ComeonUPStaffE

WORD OF MOUTH: If you’re from Kansai, Osaka or nearby localities, it would be much appreciated if you share this. Just tick those icons for Facebook, Twitter, and others.

THANKS FOR READING UP! And again, it’s so not Jackie Chan.

Posted in: Boj