Ando Store’s Kura-Style Residence

Ando Store’s Kura-Style Residence

The Ando family’s residence burnt down in 1882, but its main building and the brewing warehouse for miso and soy sauce were reconstructed in 1884. Seven years later, this kura-style residence was built to be fire-proof. The master carpenter was Shogoro Fujita. The bricks were baked in Shiraiwa (in Kakunodate district); they are 23cm in width, 11cm in length, and 5.5cm in height. The brick walls are thinner on the upper floor to reduce the weight. Between the floors are decorative structures that are thought to have been inspired by the “Itabari-Hakamagoshi (short skirt-shaped roofs)” that used to be common in the region.

This is the oldest brick-stack building in the Tohoku region, as the famous brickwork houses in Kitakata City in Fukushima prefecture were generally built after 1900.

Introduced from Europe, most of the brickwork architectures in Tohoku region were constructed in the late Meiji era as warehouses. There are only three in Akita that were built as residences: Ijin-Kan in the village of Ani (constructed in 1880, designated as the cultural property of Akita prefecture), the former Oshima Yohin-Kan in the city of Akita (constructed in 1901), and this kura-style residence in Kakunodate. Due to its rarity, Ando Store’s Kura-Style Residence is considered as culturally valuable architecture. The detachable partitions of the halls are also one of the features that represent the ingenuity of the architecture; they could be moved to adjust the size of the hall on the first floor.

Designated as the cultural property of Kakunodate city on October 1, 1986.

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