International Thatching Conference In Shirakawa

International thatching conference in Shirakawa

Thatching craftspeople from the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries have joined locals to roof a traditional farmhouse in a World Heritage village in central Japan.

About 180 foreign and local craftspeople took part in the thatching of a distinctive steep-angled roof in Shirakawa Village, Gifu Prefecture, on Sunday.

The event was held in conjunction with a conference now underway in the village, organized by the International Thatching Society.

The participants fixed 2.5-meter-long bundles of grass-like sedge onto the roof and beat the surface with special tools to flatten it.

A participant from Sweden told NHK that he wants to bring the skills he learned in the event back to his country. He said the participants were able to have exchanges with people who share the same craft despite a language barrier.

The owner of the farmhouse said he is glad he could learn how roofs are thatched in other countries and see the pride foreign thatchers have in their work.