Death & Destruction of Japanese Domiciles

With an aging society (as discussed earlier), you would expects there to be a huge surge in available home to purchase. But you would be terribly wrong. In fact, because of a variety of cultural-economic issues, purchasing a used home is anathema to the Japanese way of life.

This saddens me because every day I see a multitude of vacant Japanese homes which I would love to be seen put to use.

One of many classic wooden homes that are slowly disappearing from Sapporo’s streets

But the same pattern keeps emerging. Older home remains abandoned for several months. Then, older house is completely demolished over the course of a few days. Lot then remains vacant for several months. Finally new home is built and new family full on moves in, like they’ve have lived there for decades.

A beautiful cottage kept guard over this Asahiyama Park access point until a month ago. Now it’s mud.

I realize that land values increase without old homes occupying them (which flies in the face of conventional wisdom). But what about respect for the past? What about Japan’s dedication to the concept of もたいない (not wasting). The amount of construction materials that are wasted in this process and the damage to Japan’s environment is ridiculous.

For once I’d like the sons and daughters of the deceased to take some pride in their former childhood home and pass it on to another generation. Or are the financial stakes too high? Seriously, asking for a friend.

What do you think?