Asahi’s popular “reform variety” series, “Before/After” (Sunday, 7:58 p.m.), only occasionally tackles very old, traditional-style Japanese homes, opting instead for the kind of rickety boxes that were built during the ’60s and ’70s, which are more of a challenge to rehabilitate.
On June 22, however, the target home is an 80-year-old machiya in an old neighborhood of Kyoto. Machiya are Japanese-style town houses, and the one that receives attention has been vacant for several years, ever since the owner died. The owner’s son, who is in his 50s, has his own home, so when he inherited the property he didn’t move in. The one-story structure is cramped and narrow and virtually unusable. However, his son’s 23-year-old daughter and her 28-year-old fiance want to move into the old house. The main problems are structural — the only storage space is a hard-to-reach attic, and the floor is uneven with gaps in the walls that make the building drafty in winter. In addition, the toilet and bathroom are set up in a separate, makeshift facility in the courtyard out back.
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