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Photographer's Note

Ancient days, people dug a hole in the ground and put frame up above that hole, and they inhabited there. Later on, it became a field shanty, and people contrived ways to resist wind and snow, and also it was improved using Susuki (pampas grass) or Sone (young hamamelis), and the style got closer to the shape of present Gassho style. The completion of that basic shape of the Gassho style was after 18th century, it came under the influence of raising silkworms. With those which presently are verified, it wrote down on the "Munafuda" of otoya, was removed and reconstructed in Gero city, that this house was built by Shinemon, was a wood-worker in Ettyu Nagasaka village, and other four woodworkers in 1833.
A Gassho-styled house is re-roofed by regional people in groups' work, which is called "Yui". The system "Yui" has taken an important part for a long time not only in re-roofing but also as a neighbor cooperative organization that is applied to production and a general life.
In "Yui" that is also called "Temagae" (labor exchange), a basic rule is to return the same amount of labor, in which men takes such works as re-roofing, Tauchi, Shirokaki, rice-planting, mowing, Mebiki, Makimakuri, splitting firewood, etc. and for women to do Tahatauchi, rice-planting, weeding in field, rice harvesting etc. .
Now that as a life style of villagers has become diverse, more and more differentiation in profession accelerates. As a result "Yui" is functioning only for re-roofing at present.

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