Traditional Lifestyles of Japan

(Let’s see how people lived in Omori during the Edo period)

Hello my name is Tomoko and today I gave a tour of Omori to Endra, Murti and their daughter Raissa. Endra is on a studying abroad program from Indonesia and is currently studying at Hiroshima University. I’ve been to Indonesia twice so I was excited to give them a tour today! We had a great conversation about Indonesian and Japanese culture throughout the tour.
While we walked through this atmospheric town of Omori, we visited some spots where visitors were able to take a closer look at traditional Japanese lifestyles. In this article I would like to introduce one of the spots we visited today.

This is the entrance of the Kumagai Residence. The Kumagai family was a very powerful and wealthy merchant family in this area at the time when large amounts of silver were being mined from the Iwami Ginzan silver mine.
The Kumagai Residence is one of the largest and best preserved examples of an Edo Period residence in this area.

There are more than 30 rooms in the Kumagai Residence. At first, Endra, Murti and Raissa seemed to be quite surprised because there were more rooms than they expected. As we wandered through the maze of connecting rooms, there were many displays. Some rooms focused on one of the family businesses, sake brewing, while others displayed kimonos, bedding,and examples of the meals served. We enjoyed looking at each display and wondering how the family members had spent their lives in this residence.

Finally, we entered my favorite part of the tour of the residence, a large kitchen which displays various traditional cooking tools. There are 10 traditional and still usable wood burning stoves. Elementary schools visit here for field trips so that the school kids are able to experience and learn how to cook with these wood stoves. When Raissa heard about it, she said she also wanted to try cooking using these traditional stoves. I hope she will get the chance to do it someday. Whenever I take guests to Kumagai Residence, I’m always impressed by how well the rooms, displays and seasonal decorations are maintained.
I hope Endra, Murti and Raissa had a chance to experience something new here in the town of Omori.

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