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re; Books 2010/10/19 23:10

Sarah Susanka is a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, who got much of his architectural inspiration from his days in Japan.
Our house is a FLW "prairie style" bungalow with broad roof overhangs and traditional front porch sitting area.
Our architect, Joe Metzler, of SALA Architects, was also a FLW fan and liked Green & Green houses (see the Gamble House in Pasadena.) We lifted ideas from the Gamble House for our interior.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Lived in Nagai 2010/10/20 03:43
I lived from 1963 to 1966 as a dependant in the Navy residential area called Nagai. It was about 20km or so from Yokosuka. There was a grade school there, Callaghan school. We lived quite close to the cliff over the sea and I remember the caves along the cliff. It was an old airfield and some of the stripes on the tarmac were still visible then. I'm interested in finding others that were there.
by T. Brown (guest) rate this post as useful

Welcome T. Brown 2010/10/20 10:42
It's been a long strange trip from Yokohama.

I'm not familiar with your community but I assume you were a Navy brat.

I'd be interested in what brought you and your folks to Japan.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Nagai 2010/10/20 12:29
This link is Japanese. Please try.

by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Frank Lloyd Wright Influence 2010/10/20 14:39
Eric, it sounds like you have a fine, well-designed home -- how lucky you are! I've visited Pasadena and the many Greene and Greene homes, including the Gamble House. Here in Northern California we have many Eichler homes, their design also influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright: post and beam construction; flat or low-sloping A-frame roofs; spartan facades with clean geometric lines; open floor plans; skylights; floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out to private patios, gardens, or atriums; radiant heating built into concrete slab floors; sliding doors for rooms, closets, cabinets -- American design with nuanced Japanese touches. Joseph Eichler was known for making high quality, small scale contemporary homes affordable to the middle class. They originally sold for $10,000 in the fifties -- are now selling for $1,000,000. If you would like to see pictures, you can type ''Eichler homes'' into google.com and click on ''images'' at the top of the page, or copy and paste this url:


Once upon a time, I lived in an Eichler home, a very special, one-of-a-kind experience.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Anne Frank 2010/10/20 15:01
Ah, "Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl," one of my favorite books, read again and again! It's time to revisit the story through the eyes of Francine Prose's " Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife." Thanks, Steffi! Have you had a chance to visit her attic room in Amsterdam?
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Todays Haiku 2010/10/21 02:40
Three squirrels eating franticly
Under my oak tree
They know someting..
by PeterT (guest) rate this post as useful

Houeses 2010/10/21 03:06
Yes I have visited the Anne Frank museum and attic in Amsterdam. The museum has since been updated and enlarged, which I haven't seen. Quite an experience.

Interesting discussions about architecture. I went to high school with Charley Gwathmey, who died earlier this year. Does anyone know of his work? We recently had a neighbor's house, which was a New England-style cottage, torn down next door, and an unsightly mc mansion, twice as high, built speedily in its place. Because our town is so conservative, and normally concerned with maintaining tradition, it surprised and horrified us. We're hoping that, in our community at least, this will be a one-shot event. Other house updates have so far shown restraint and taste, and fit in so well, so we have been lucky, I guess.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Retirement house 2010/10/21 03:27
We built our house with retirement and low upkeep in mind. We used pre-painted fiber cement board and then painted again after caulking the corners. It has stood up to hail and we think a repaint won't be needed for 20 years.
A ground source heat pump provides heat and cool via four 200 foot geothermal wells under the driveway. Out utilities are +/- $100/month.
Blown in cellulose insulation, plus the best grade of Andersen windows makes for a comfortable place. The Geothermal system also heats the main floor in the winter. Payback over a traditional system was about four years. We've had zero service calls on this system.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Architects and Architecture 2010/10/21 14:18
Steffi, it must have been sad to hear about the death of your classmate Charles Gwathmey; however, your comments about him piqued my interest, so I did a google search and discovered a fascinating and productive architect, well-respected in his field, though I had not heard of him before. My own taste is toward more traditional architecture, but I found his creations wonderful to study, including homes for celebrities Faye Dunaway, Steven Spielberg, and Jerry Seinfeld. He certainly had design commissions in some very tony neighborhoods -- New York, the Hamptons, Santa Monica, etc. His design adjacent to Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York is a remarkable contrast in shape and form. You and others interested in architecture may want to follow up on this link with more pictures than text:


Eric, such interesting details about your home -- I'm envious of your low-maintenance, highly-efficient "green" home. I live in a 70-year-old, high-maintenance home, so difficult to heat that we close off rooms in the winter; on the other hand, on the hottest days of summer our house with it's thick walls feels like it's air-conditioned, and that's a very good thing during heat waves.

I lived in a quonset hut in Saipan for two years, but our drafty home built by the military on the Bluff in Yokohama was the first time we lived in a two-story house. I loved it because it was also the first time that my sister and I didn't have to share a bedroom, and as a teenager, I was delighted to have "a room of my own." Anyone else have a room or a home that was or is special to you?
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Frank Lloyd Wright 2010/10/22 00:26
I've always been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, although the man himself was very arrogant. His prairie style homes are beautiful, and more complex than meets the eye, but his cantilever home "Falling Water" is my favorite. His prairie style homes started the trend to modern homes back in the twenties, and influenced the American ranch style house. Across the street from my house is a white stucco, two-story rambling modern looking home, 7000 s.f., built in 1939 on two acres, and influenced by FLW. A lot of people think it is a hospital, but it is a home, and is for sale if anyone is interested. I was in Tokyo when they were tearing down FLW's old Imperial Hotel, which withstood the 1928 earthquake. I couldn't understand why they tore down such a beautiful structure. I have been in the New Imperial Hotel, in the Rainbow Room, and although it is grand, it doesn't compare with the pictures I have seen of the old Imperial Hotel. Go figure!
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

House accross from Wallys 2010/10/22 10:13
I might be interested in the house accross the street from Wally. 7000 square feet sounds just about right for my goats, birds and pit bulls
and a place for my biker friends to party, and for our jug band to practice until the early hours. Were not too rowdy..honest..we even recycle. We don't even need a nice lawn..the snowmachines will tear it up anyway. Buddy !!
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

How Japan Saw Us 2010/10/23 04:11
In the Oct. 21, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Lee Lawrence's article, "How Japan Saw Us," reviews a curated art exhibit entitled "Picturing the West: Yokohama Prints 1859-1870s" running through November 14 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Lawrence says, the works are grouped into "three broad themes: the international port of Yokohama; daily life and customs of Westerners; and the leisure and entertainment to be found in Yokohama, both for foreigners an Japanese. The show opens with a panoramic view of the harbor that is both a technical tour de force -- eight wood cuts align to form a seamless whole -- and an accurate map of the town's residential compound for foreigners, its entertainment quarter and the the areas designated for commerce. Excellent overview of old Japan continued at:

by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Charles Gwathmey 2010/10/23 04:24
Steffi and all, I should have been more specific about the link to trianglemodernisthouses.com because it's sole focus is on Charles Gwathmey: wonderful color photographs of his life's work in architecture and additional links to two interviews, one with Charlie Rose. In one of the interviews, Gwathmey mentions that his fellow architect and longtime professional partner was an old classmate of his -- maybe you know him too?
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

How Japan Saw Us Exhibit 2010/10/23 12:18
Arigato Barbara-san,
The pictures are on-line and they are beautiful.
by Dave-san (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: How Japan Saw Us Exhibit 2010/10/23 16:34
Good to hear from you, Dave-san, and thank you for going a step further than the Wall Street Journal article and finding the gorgeous woodblock prints at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Wouldn't you love to own one?! I enjoyed the stylized pictures of the Dutchman's camels :). And the women's faces, whether English, Russian, or French, are Asian faces just as the article suggests. I loved the maps and landscapes of old Yokohama and think I could identify the Bluff where some of us lived -- or maybe it was just my over-active imagination. What a treat it is to explore this excellent website -- not only for the Japanese prints, though that is reason enough for a visit, but also for the rest of the museum's collection. You can click on "audio tour" and hear about any painting or object of your choice, from ancient to modern. I especially enjoyed seeing and hearing about a Pennsylvania German kitchen installation donated by the Dupont family and a Pennsylvania German Bird Tree, a perfectly delightful folk art object. Oh, to be in Philadelphia, and if not there, then at this museum website where there's something for everyone, whatever your taste in art. Not to be missed!
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

Phenominal website - 2010/11/1 11:08
Thought this Website might be of interest - it is programmed to answer all kinds of questions -

Watch the Introduction first:


This is the website:

by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

442nd 2010/11/8 00:41
Hi all, Konnichiwa

The drama that related to this was broadcast in Japan. Try them:


by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

442nd 2010/11/9 00:50
Thanks for the links. I did not know much about the 442 but I will look at this as time permits. I wonder what was the opinion of the Japanese on the 442 ? I would think that Americans serving with a foreign army fighting against there homeland would not be thought of very well. I also wonder if any members of the 442 were used to gather information [intel] on Japan during the war.
I have a friend whos father served in the 442, and I will link this to her, thank you.
I just returned from a working week in Key West Fla. Temperature was nice and warm but rainy and windy. Didn't get much sleep..now I need a vacation.!
Hope you and everyone is ok.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

442nd 2010/11/9 02:38
There was a 442nd veteran who worked in my dad's US Army Japan Producement Agency office in Tokyo. His name was Yoshimura, I think. He was from California and had served in the Italian campaign.
Following his military service, he joined civil service and became a DAC (Department of the Army Civilian) and spoke a version of Japanese that was spoken by his parents who immigrated from rural Japan.
The Japanese guys in the office were constantly repeating his phrases and then reminding him he was in the "big city" now.
He was a supurb judo practitioner. His kids were in Nasugbu Beach School when I was there.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

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