minka trailer

by Grace Bonney

Some mornings, it’s great to leap out of bed with energy, pep and excitement. Other mornings, I like to stay relaxed and quiet, letting the day wash over me as I slowly wake up. Today was one of those quiet days, and as I watched the documentary trailer above, I felt myself falling into a calming morning “Zen” state of mind. Filmmaker Davina Pardo has been working on a short documentary called Minka* about a 250-year-old farmhouse in Japan that was restored by an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son, architect Yoshihiro Takishita. Davina describes it perfectly as, “an intimate story about place, architecture, memory and the meaning of home.” I was struck by the serenity of the space, and how both men felt that the home (despite its state of disrepair when they found it) had a strong sense of life and light. The love that went into restoring it is evident and the film is a testament to the power of having a place to call your own.

In addition to airing this trailer, Davina started a Kickstarter fund to support the finishing of the film. Sadly, the journalist featured in the film, AP foreign correspondent John Roderick, passed away in 2008, but the film has much story left to tell. I think it’s a wonderful project and I hope you’ll check it out if you have a few moments. Viewing the trailer is such a peaceful way to spend five minutes. Click here to watch the video on Vimeo and to read more about the project and click here to donate to the film’s Kickstarter fund. xo, grace

*In Japanese, “Minka” is the name for private homes, usually a type owned by farmers, artisans and merchants. John Roderick wrote a book about his experience with the home, as well.

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  • That was such a touching story. I am so full of emotion, “the words I can not find”. What a wonderful wonderful story……I would love to see this project finished……Thank you for sharing this

  • What a beautiful home and such a huge undertaking. It’s so nice to see a beautiful restoration in Japan.

  • That was just what I needed this morning… wow. Thank you for posting. What an emotional wonderful little clip. The man’s voice is so soothing… I could listen for hours.

    Thank you, I hope they finish the documentary!

  • Thank you for publishing this and giving me and other readers the chance to support the project.

  • it is very emotional for me to watch this and remind me about grand parents house in Japan. I miss the house and I hope they finish this film. Thank you very much for posting.

  • Thanks from someone who now lives in Japan. There`s the Japan that I love, and then there`s the psychic dust, and the junk of human life, here as everywhere. Watching this trailer touched me very deeply and was today`s reminder (I try to notice such reminders daily and wherever they are) of the soft and deep side of this country and culture, and the reason I love it, and the reason I`m here. It will be a beautiful documentary and I really look forward to seeing it.