By Mandy Bartok
When I was walking along Honmachi-dori which runs alongside Mifune River, a pure white walled Japanese building caught my eyes. I wonder what it is and found the sign showing "Mifune Machinaka Gallery". A staff said to me "please come in" and opened the gate and I entered the inside to have a look.
This house was renovated in 2014, having originally been built in the Edo Period (1603-1868) for the Hayashida family. They made their fortune in various businesses, including rice polishing, sake brewing, land and sea transport, trading, accommodation and finance. The property consists of a main house, two storehouses and a detached building which made me imagine how powerful Hayashida family was in those days. In the main house, entrance hall stretches for a long distance and the huge tatami mat room can be divided by fusuma (sliding door). I felt like I'm doing hide and seek in a palace. The detached building with eight tatami mats space has own kitchen. The storehouses are lit up in an elegant way, creating a chic atmosphere and it's interesting to see the structure of ceiling and the open wood beams from the inside.
Mifune Town Office is currently managing this building and this are spaces available for individuals and groups to use at a very low charge. These spaces have been utilized for numerous purposes, like exhibitions, cultural events, haunted house parties and more. On the day I visited, there was exhibition devoted to Morihito Okuda and they decorated his memorable items and memoirs from World War II. One of storehouses displays a local school children's newspaper reporting the nature, history and geography in Mifune. I couldn't help smiling at some of the comments the children wrote.
Mifune Machinaga Gallery can also assist with events and exhibitions with their range of equipment such as kitchen, lighting, sound & visual apparatus, tables and chairs so you can create your own unique event. For inquiries and bookings, please contact the Mifune Town Office.
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Born & grew up in Kumamoto, Yui studied and worked in Osaka before immigrating to Australia. She lived in Adelaide and Sydney prior to moving to Brisbane. Her passion is reporting on the great things of Kumamoto and Japan to everyone around the world in a serious, interesting and funny way. Her favorite travel writer is Makoto Shina. 熊本生まれ、熊本育ち、大阪に学び職務経験を積み、オーストラリアに移住。アデレード、シドニーを経て、ブリズベン在住。熊本、また日本のすばらしいところを国内、海外にまじめに、面白、おかしく発信したいと思っています。好きなトラベルライターは椎名誠。