I went to Hobara Park mainly because I wanted to see the old Kameoka House, which was built in 1904. I was told by my tour guide that it is a farmhouse, but instantly I could tell that it was no ordinary farmhouse. Its owner must have been extremely wealthy.
My husband’s parents are farmers and they also live in an old farmhouse. Their farmhouse is much, much smaller than Kameoka House. (His parents added a new section to their house in the 1960’s, doubling its size. Yet, it’s still not nearly as large as Kameoka House.)
Kameoka House is huge. HUGE! Honestly, I’ve never seen such a huge home in Japan. Not only were there many rooms, but the rooms were large.
The rooms above and below are just a mere small part of the house.
The tour guide pointed out some engravings in the wood (photo below.) What are they?
The name “Kameoka” means “Turtle Hill.” (Literally.)
Hello, Mr. Turtle Hill!
Why, hello, Amy Lange River Village!
I know that turtles and cranes often accompany one another in Japanese art, so I asked if there were any cranes. He pointed this one out:
Okay, gorgeous! Am I right? AM I RIGHT?
Lovely touches of artwork decorated this house, here and there.
Now let’s go up to the second floor, shall we? (I said this house was big!!!!)
Here on the second floor, I wanted to run gleefully down the halls, slipping and sliding. I didn’t, of course. (But I bet the six children of the house did!!!)
Shall we open secret doors?
The orginal glass was imported from Italy. (Some have been replaced, but some of the original glass still remains.)
Stairs up to the attic…
The roof is tiled with shingles typical of old homes in Japan.
The shingles are VERY heavy. In earthquake safety information, we are warned to not dash out of the building during an earthquake. The reason for this is because one may be hit with falling objects outside (tree limbs, concrete walls, power lines)
Shingles often fall from roofs during large quakes, thus it can be deadly if they drop onto a person’s head.
Above is a photo of Mr. Kameoka, the one who had this farmhouse built and lived in it with his family.
His descendants no longer live in Fukushima Prefecture and the house was donated so that it could be taken care of properly. They scattered to other parts of Japan…and to the United States! So do you know any Americans by the name of “Kameoka?” This could be their ancestors’ home!