Or in Japanese its called “Mune-Age” which means raising of the highest beam.
The Japanese custom is to hold a little party and hand out gifts to the workers who built the foundation and to the carpenters who work on the frame and will complete the house finishes including built-in furniture. As explained by the site manager, with the depressed economy here, many are opting-out of this custom and it would not mean that work quality would diminish. However, lots of changes can happen during the project which are unplanned and unbudgeted. This is where good will comes in.As this seemed more relevant than paying a priest for blessing the land, thus agreed to the ceremony for which we had to organize food and drinks for 17 people. We also decided on cash gifts. The suggested gift was 1~2 man for the team leads and half for the team members. Damage was about 8man for food, drinks and gifts for 8 builders.
Our site manager helped us with formalities. Not sure what this is called but essentially you go to the four corners of the home. On the corner post, I threw a handful of salt to the left of the post, then the right, then the middle, step back and bow. Sakamoto-san did the same but with rice. Then the Master Carpenter did the same with Sake. Then we all bow. Repeat 3 times.
The First Dinner: Curry from our favorite Nepalese Restaurant, who the owners happen to be our future neighbors. Some drinks and customary speeches and self-introductions. And finally, time to play Santa Claus.
The family got a chance to walk around the rooms and we took some snapshots including the second floor. I’ll post some side-by-side comparisons with Sakamoto-san sketches.