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Kominka Collective's Mission

We create opportunities for people outside of Japan to live, gather, and work in extraordinary traditional Japanese structures and in so doing ensure that these beautiful old houses and materials will be given a new life. 

Kominka Collective
Board Members
Kunito Niwa
Director, Kominka Collective
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Yoshinobu Toda
Chairman, Toda Komuten
Director, Japan Kominka Association, Aichi Branch
Eric Carlson
Designer-Builder, Kominka Collective
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Andrea Carlson
Events Coordinator, Kominka Collective
Our Story

Our Okumikawa area in Japan is blessed with both natural beauty and a long and interesting history. In this traditional setting, there are many old folk houses. We are very proud of the world-class craftsmanship with which these structures were designed and built, as evidenced by UNESCO listing Japanese traditional woodworking skills as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2020.


Nowadays, however, many of these extraordinary structures are being torn down and incinerated, This is an immeasurable loss, and it is our life's work to protect, preserve, and reconstruct Japanese folk houses for the sake of future generations.

Mikawa House

The Kominka Collective was conceived as a way to share traditional Japanese folkhouses with people outside of Japan, not as museum pieces, but as places to live and work.


Our first relocated timber frame structure, Mikawa House, was rebuilt on Eric Carlson's ranch at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. 

Mikawa House was originally a farmhouse in rural Okumikawa. After determining that the structure was sound, the house was carefully dismantled and transported to the Toda Komuten workshop. Each piece of wood from the eighty-year-old kominka was washed, and the house was preassembled in the workshop to check if any minor repairs would be needed. In addition to cleaning each piece of wood, we washed 400 ceramic roof tiles - a daunting task as old tiles were fixed to the roof with something akin to mud. Shoji screens were made taller by adding discreet wood panels to their bases and other furnishings and fixtures were cleaned and small repairs were made as needed..


We sent with Mikawa House a number of her treasures - silk worm pallets, ranma, a tokonoma alter, tansu, stone lanterns, and many more. It made us happy that this lovely old house was accompanied by so many wonderful items to begin a second life in rural Oregon.

We'd love to hear from you!
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