Silk production, which needed large enclosed
spaces for silkworm beds and storage of mulberry leaves, was an
important factor in the development of this style of house.
smoke from open fires in these homes preserves the beams and ropes
of the structure which has no nails, much like the
stave churches of Norway.
A roof of this type lasts
some 40-50 years, after which the entire community work together
to re-thatch the house. Watch them work together on a video about
thatching the gassho-zukuri at UNESCO where you can select the
The picture left is one of the gassho-zukuri rice barns
surrounded by fields of rice where
the grain is threshed and the straw dried for thatching materials.
More rice thatch here, a
bamboo and rice straw home in Iran