The interior of a minka was generally divided into two sections: a floor of compacted earth, called doma (土間), and a raised floor (generally around 20 inches (50 cm) above the level of the doma) covered in tatami or mushiromats.
The doma was used for most cooking and farming-related tasks, and usually included a clay furnace-like oven called a kamado (竈), a wooden sink, food barrels, and a large jug to store water from an outside well. A large wooden door called an ōdo would serve as the front entrance to the building.
The raised floor often included a built-in hearth, called an irori (囲炉裏). However, there was no chimney connecting directly from the hearth to the outside, only a small smoke vent in the roof would sometimes be present. Smoke would rise up into the area of the high and spacious roof; thus, the inhabitants of the home did not breathe in the smoke and soot, but it did blacken the thatch, which would have to be replaced fairly often.
Though there were many various possible arrangements of the rooms within a home, one of the most common, called yomadori (四間取り), comprised four rooms in the raised floor portion of the house, adjacent to the doma. Although these four rooms could be partitioned, they were more or less communal space, since inhabitants had to pass through one room to get to another. Two of these rooms would be used for communal family activities, including the one with theirori hearth. Sometimes a small oil lamp would be used for light, but due to the cost of oil, more often the hearth would be the only artificial light in the home.
The family would gather around this hearth at mealtime, and sit in a prearranged order determined by social status within the family. The side furthest from thedoma was called the yokoza and was where the head of the household would sit. Another side was for the housewife and other female family members, the third for male family members and guests, and the fourth side of the hearth was occupied by a pile of firewood.
The other rooms served as bedrooms and as space for entertaining guests, and would include a tokonoma, an alcove still commonly found in modern Japanese homes, where flowers, scrolls, or other such things would be displayed. The bath and toilet were often built as separate structures, or as additions outside the main structure of the house but under the eaves of the roof.
with cheesebord dough
last four minutes of baking, crack a couple eggs
garlic olive oil + tomato paste
shreds of basil for the last 4 minutes of baking
oven temp 400 degrees, 15 minutes on pizza stone
Invisible Footprints… Sukkah Installation Abstract
In Ann Arbor, the practice of controlled burns is a local ritual that sets fire to wild grasses and invasive species as a way to recycle nutrients back to the earth. By harnessing the destruction of flora, richer soil is propagated to provide grounds for fertile growth. The cycle of unmaking to remake; unlearning to relearn- these paradoxical truths are grounds for contemplation and rethinking how tradition and rituals can be cultivated. In the discipline of cultural practices, embracing the ‘twoness’ of things allow for deeper speculations that hone in on etymologies, relational implications, and place-making.
The proposal for the installation is a piece of earth peeled back from the ground, in which its surface is simultaneously floor, wall, and roof. It is a composite structure of material culture alluding to the symbolic, the literal, and the tectonic, in which hay and natural latex are used to create panels that are subsequently stitched together to create a garment-like, anthropomorphic-apparatus. The personified ground is amorphous and assimilates to a variety of contexts: It is capable of twisting, outstretching, curling, and skewing, allowing multiple gestures to curate the ritual of Succoth.
Natural latex is symbolic of memory preservation. It is common practice for historic conservationists to use latex for building cleaning and preservation, due to the material’s viscous nature, enabling a deep historical facsimile of the buildings’ sub-natural content. Conceptually, the latex is cast in-situ and becomes a memory of the making through the act of ‘peeling the ground,’ leaving a footprint that, in time, will be rendered invisible.