The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Kozai Bunka No Kai

Activities to support the improving skills of practical managers for the conservation of traditional architecture

Activity grant

Project Description

The life-span of a house in Japan is around 30 years, which is extremely short compared to the 100 years in Europe or the US. In order to form a sustainable society, an urgent issue is to extend the life-span of houses. In particular, training human resources responsible for conservation and rehabilitation of traditional wooden architecture, with Japanese culture of trees at the core, is an important aspect. Our activities provide support for the improvement of skills through workshops and lectures for those who have conducted the traditional architecture conservation and utilization manager training course, which was funded by a project grant in FY2005. Specifically, guidance on the preparation of survey forms and other necessary materials for registered tangible cultural properties (buildings), the improvement of conserving and rehabilitating traditional wooden architecture, providing sites for information exchange, issuing activity records, etc.

Grant year
FY2008 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2009 - March 2012
Grant amount
6,000,000 yen
Activity region
Japan nationwide, specifically focusing on Kyoto
A workshop for restoration of an old house in Kyoto

Overview of the Organization

Norio Nagai, Chairman
Norio Nagai, Chairman
Establishment purpose
This organization was established with the main purpose of focusing on the succession and development of the traditional culture of wooden architecture and its construction. There is a sense of crisis regarding the easily abandoned wooden architecture with its historical and cultural values, and the organization promotes activities to protect culture of trees of which Japan is proud of and conduct activities to use old buildings or old materials to create a sustainable society in the field of wooden architecture.
Main areas of activity
Japan nationwide, specifically focusing on Kyoto
3 full-time staff members, 8 part-time staff members, 262 full members
Annual operating budget
11.81 million yen in 2006, 3.57 million yen in 2007, 10.18 million yen in 2008
WEB site
Key activities
The organization is involved in consultation activities on old houses and old materials received from the general public and research activities on exceptional wooden buildings. We also hold study sessions and tours to deepen understanding of traditional architecture and old materials as well as hold practical lectures and courses where people can learn about construction technology. While continuing outreach towards the succession and evaluation of the steady wooden architecture culture, several awards were received. In December 2003, the "First Kyoto Environment Award" from Kyoto City and on October 20 2004 the Reduce Reuse Recycle Promotion Council's Reduce Reuse Recycle Promotion Project was awarded the Minister of Transportation prize. Additionally, in FY2005, regarding the Ministry of the Environment's NGO/NPO/corporate environmental policy proposal project, our organization has proactively conducted activities to suggest policies. For four years from 2005, with the assistance of the Mitsui & Co Environment Foundation, we held the traditional architecture conservation and utilization manager training course, and from 2009 the Kyoto City cultural property manager training course held as an executive officer training in Kyoto. We are continuing to work on fostering basic human resources with the ability to evaluate maintain, regenerate and utilization management for wooden architecture.