SOMOZA is an extraordinary cultural hub housed in a 150-year-old kominka, adjacent to SHIGUCHI. The restored building includes a boutique featuring Japanese works of arts and crafts and the Somoza Gallery, a large, open gallery used for events, seminars and performances and which also houses Hokkaido Through The Ages, an impressive collection of artefacts from various cultures of people throughout Hokkaido’s history, from 10,000-year-old Jomon period pottery to recent indigenous Ainu works of art.
“Kominka” means old house, and generally refers to a distinctive style of house built of local natural materials such as wood, clay and straw, often found in rural Japan. The enormous frames are supported by thick beams and posts of oak or cypress, which fit together like a puzzle. The largely open-plan interiors are flexible, and rooms are sectioned off by sliding “shoji” partitions. An “engawa” or corridor encircles the kominka.