te to ba<手と場>
Nagasaki-ken, Fukue-shi, Tomie-cho, Tomie 323-5
Story of te to ba<手と場>
Goto and Tomie,
"te to ba"
In a time that is full of many opportunities.
"Why did you come to a place that has nothing?"
I have been asked this question numerous times after coming to Goto.
There are a lot that's going on in Tokyo.
There are important things that I sometimes forget there.
In Tokyo, I often confuse the direction where the sun rises and sets due to the buildings blocking your sense of direction.
Unlike Goto, the open sea allows you to properly see and learn the sun's location and directions.
In Goto's supermarkets and vegetable stands, the fresh vegetables in season are lined up, allowing you to choose the best, freshest vegetables. You get to know the different seasons as well.
Walking around the Tomie area, I was asked,
"What do you think?" for the first time.
"It is a comfortable area to be in." I said.
It is a town where nature and people live.
Someday, I want the people living in Tomie to say, "Everything is here!", where people can be proud of their town.
With such feelings, this allowed "te to ba" to exist.
I want to aim for a place where I can stay comfortably in this place for a long time.
The Goto Islands
The Goto Islands consisting of 140 large and small islands.
Tomie town, a small port town located at the westernmost end of Fukue Island.
Often times while walking around town, people will speak out to you.
Relationships between people are never forgotten in a town that you will come to recognize.
人With a population of about 5,000 people, it started out as fishing town. As the town's fishing industry flourished, the town’s population increased to approximately 15,000 people.
People who are living here,
"This place isn't as lively."
"There is no place to interact." I said.
The sound of children's voices shouting and playing,
The sound of people's conversations,
The sound of cooking,
The sound of ships departing,
Compared to the past, those "sounds" has decreased.
It has become a quiet town.
However, the warmth of people's kindness still remains
As it is, the beautiful nature of the town are mixed with people's daily lives.
t"e to ba" is a place where you can experience such things.
"Are you fishing?"
"You're by yourself aren't you? Where are you from?"
"Here, do you want it?"
They offered me a fish that was freshly caught.
A normal day at the fishing ports in Tomie town.
In a place where such "sounds" can be heard...
But if you do not have a place to interact, I thought of creating a place using everyone's hands would good.
The "te to ba" project began with the desire to live in this beautiful town.
A vacant house in Tomie town.
With the help from the locals and visitors, a vacant house in Tomie town was rebuilt.
The name, "te to ba" coming from a project where such "sounds" can be heard, a cafe where people can interact freely.
Strongly intrigued by it’s existence.
A vacant house near the center of Tomie town, first I’ve visited in February 2016.
The kitchen was covered by the green weeds.
This house has been vacant for nearly 10 years, leaving indications as if people have lived there until yesterday.
The kitchen is slowly getting taken over the weeds, it will be cleaned up later but...
I was very intrigued by the color and strength of the weeds forcing themselves inside. This power inspired became the color design for the logo of
“te to ba.”
In Goto, showing respect to superiors,
we often use "name"-ban.
For example, "Mr. Ichiro", would be
Therefore, people who are involved with
"te to ba,"
I have decided to call it "tetoban."
The first "tetoban" is an Economics professor from Nagasaki with his five students. Where the te to ba project has started.
Major cleanup of the house, as well as finding treasures
Most of the leftover household items that remained are and still used in "te to ba."
The cleanup of the house took two full days.
The local community and visiting supporters helped load the unused items on the truck to be thrown out.
At times, "treasure!" was said out with a surprising voice by the people.
The sound of nails pulled out, as well as striking sounds,
These "sounds" heard from te to ba.
"te to ba" was finally cleaned up, a spacious area, although not yet a comfortable place to be in.
Crowdfunding was started with the purpose to raise money for the project.
Returns for supported backers are given back local specialty products made from the local companies.
As a result, I was able to get support from more than 100 backers and was able to start the renovation in a year from now.
“te to ba” with everyone
Construction of "te to ba" has finally begun with the help of professional carpenters.
Starting out with renovation of the kitchen, the concrete placed in the house slowly shaped the image of the café.
I was also able to learn a lot from their professional work and advice.
My image of "te to ba" is slowly appearing little by little.
The holes within the walls gives you a sense that this place was over 140 years old.
Construction of the building continued, leaving traces of the people who used to live here.
"Keeping hands together" is what I've felt when painting the walls.
Painting the base took several days, then on to the next layer.
Through social networking services, we were looking for people who are willing to help, but thought that no one would come...
That uneasiness went away as soon as it started.
Many people came and saw “te to ba” and soon noticed.
Students and teachers from the nearby elementary school came to paint the base wall.
While it was their first time, they imitated others' work.
Many children joined hands in "te to ba."
When you grow up, I wish that you can recall this place where "I've came here and painted these walls."
Aiming for a place where stories to be made and told, here at "te to ba".
Handmade countertops, desks, and walls.
With the addition of a gas stove, refrigerator and such, "te to ba" can be seen as a cafe.
"Sounds" that were born at a place called a cafe,
It is now a place of exchange.
"te to ba" is a place where you can feel comfort in your life,
The richness and beauty of the island,
The warmth of people,
A place where you can feel the story,
And a place where people living here can feel proud,
It is the aim of this place.
"te to ba", a place in small port town in Tomie, located in Fukue within the Goto islands.
A story made with hands joined together,
A place to be countlessly born.