Nagatani Soen Seika (the birthplace of Soen NAGATANI) (永谷宗円生家)

Located at the place (Koaza Sorabiro, Oaza Yuyadani, Ujitawara-cho, Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto Prefecture) where Soen NAGATANI, who is said to have invented and promoted 'Aosei Sencha Seiho' ('Blue Method' to produce Sencha, or unfermented green tea) in 1738, used to live and the Nagatani family had lived until the Meiji period, Nagatani Soen Seika (the birthplace of Soen) is a facility which was built by local volunteers to preserve his tools for tea production and the remains of his Hoiro (device to heat and dry tea leaves) in 1960. Although it is called his 'birthplace,' it is not a house of the Edo period, but this facility, which stands where the Nagatani family's house used to be, is a smaller newly built house with a thatched roof than the family's house. Remains of his Hoiro are preserved inside, and placed at the Tokonoma (a traditional Japanese style alcove) in the back is a part of an old tea tree which is said to be from the time of Soen. Its interior consists of Doma (a dirt floor) that has the remains of Hoiro and a Zashiki room (a tatami matted room with an alcove), which cannot be seen from outside because the house is usually shuttered. It is equipped with fluorescent lights and glass windows inside the shutters. This house is a Cultural Property designated by Ujitawara-cho Town.

This 'birthplace' where nobody currently lives required immediate repair because its thatched roof was damaged from a few decades of weathering. People engaged in the tea industry and the local people organized 'Nagatani Soen Honoring Association' (永谷宗円翁顕彰会) in 2006 to promote donations, and they started having the roof thoroughly re-thatched with that money in April 2007. It was completed in the end of May and its beautiful roof was recovered.

[Original Japanese]