This weekend I finished the questionnaire related to the Machiya, what are the qualities for living and working. How to take these qualities with us to the next generations in Japan and abroad.

I’m warned by several people that it wouldn’t be easy to reach Kyoto people, especially those who live in a Machiya, to fill in the questionnaire.

Today I had a meeting with Suwa-san. She wrote her thesis about the Machiya: how it could be preserved for the future. She did a survey, but it took her half a year to contact 60 people.

She told me about the big difference in communication between english and japanese.
I asked her how she tries to continue the tradition of the Machiya and she said: ‘I can answer you in the japanese way and in the english way’.
The english way is: ‘By writing this thesis in english I try to open up this kind of problems and make more people think about it. Then I use the internet for communicating about this issue. And I educate my three sons telling them about the tradition and culture.’
In Kyoto style I shoud say: ‘wakarahen’.
This is kansai dialect for ‘don’t know’.
‘We don’t use subject, so we don’t say, I don’t know or we don’t know,’ Suwa-san continues.

With this in mind, I’m curious about the answers of my survey.

Suwa-san is inspecting her mother's kimonos. Next week she has to wear one for her teamaster certificate.

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