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Ikkoku-Kan - The architect's remarks


The love-story between Kyoko and Godai is the thread of the 96 unforgettable episodes of the series.
How could we forget Godai's passionate 'avowal of love', Mitaka's phobia, Akemi,Yotsuya and Ichinose's endless parties, or Yagami's unceasing requests???
Every single episode is full of details: the steady whistle of the train, the blossoming cherry-trees in Japanise spring, the traditional folklorostic festivities.
Never before MI a 'cartoon' has ever raised such deep feelings in the hearts of the audience; and the whole merit is to be ascribed to the authoress.
Rumiko Takahashi mixed in a sensitive, delicate, skilful...perfect (!!!) way the characters' feelings and all the images - so evocative - of a culture which is so faraway from our own western habits.
In spite of the many misunderstandings - which naturally spring out - it's difficult to resist the charming Japanise world, especially if we think about the traditional wedding of sweet Kyoko and shy Godai.
In this big box of incidents stands an old Japanise house: Maison Ikkoku.
This is the place where the events take place.
Here you are some architectural remarks on the structure of the building.
The great majority of people live in western styled flats; it's the case of Mitaka and Kozue.
Others have the lucky chance ti live in traditional houses, where simplicity and flexibility of internal space are the key-words to identify their style; and we think of Azuko and the old Mr.Otonashi.
There are people, like Yagami and Kyoko's parents, who live in houses that appear half way between the two described: the western model - so fond of the kitchen and the sofa - mixes with the Japanise one - made up of sliding doors and spaces for peculiar uses, as the place where you can leave your shoes.
So, now, which category does MI belong to?
None of these three, of course!
MI is neither a single house nor a group of independent flats; it's a group of fournished flats which 'interact'.
Though built a long time ago, MI is very different from Kyoko's parents, Mitaka, old Mr.Otonashi's houses...MI is just MI!
La Ikkoku-Kan La Ikkoku-Kan
By referring to the details mentioned in the episodes, it is possible to sketch a map of the house - even if there are some incongruities between the two series.
Rumiko Takahashi led an accurate study on the Japanise space unit, the tatami, and then built the various rooms and their dimentions.
The tatami is a kind of carpet/mattress made up of a wooden framework of 180cm x 90cm - 1.62mq. This is the basis of traditional Japanise architecture.
La stanza di Kyoko La stanza di Kyoko
Godai room's floor is made up of six tatami arranged so as to obtain 270cm width and 360cm length (excluding the built-in wardrobe).
Kyoko's 'flat' is a bit bigger: she has got eight tatami which build a square space.
The combination of rooms 1,2 and 3 at the first floor and rooms 4,5 and 6 at the ground floor detrmine the length of the corridor.
Stairs, bathrooms and wash-bowls take 90-180cm.

The tatami has another function which we can easily understand from the daily actions of MI 'lodgers'.
Godai and all the others live in tight contact with the floor, in every moment of the day: when they celebrate, in the typical kneeling position; when they sleep in the middle of the room, covered by a thick blanket.
The tatami substitutes beds and chairs - basic elements in western culture - wich are absent in MI (except Akemi's soft bed). This way the characters can easily do whatever they want in the tiny space of their rooms.
The Japanise bend the space till it acquires the great quality of flexibility; and this is clear from what we see in MI. The room changes according to the various moments of the day.
In the famous room 5 (fournished with a bookcase, a writing-desk, a little table and a kitchen corner) Godai, just by placing the little table in a corner of the room, taking the blanket from the built-in wardrobe and then laying down on the tatami-floor, tranforms his living-room into bed-room.
These simple movements are the exemple of Japanise culture, and they let us appreciate the charm of traditional habits.
And we, western people, owe this knowledge also to the great talent of our Rumiko Takahashi and to her two wandeful series Maison Ikkoku.

Riparazioni o lavori di manutenzione eseguiti/visti
ep. descrizione
1 Kyoko chiude con delle assi un buco nell'armadio di Godai.
2 Il tetto perde sopra la stanza di Godai; riparato da Kyoko.
3 Kyoko va a riparare un cavo elettrico masticato in soffitta.
22 Kyoko prova a riparare il pavimento della terrazza.
Un disinfestatore elimina termiti nel muro alla sinistra dell'ingresso.
Due carpentieri riparano la terrazza al primo piano.
36 Kyoko cambia la lampada dell'ingresso.
42 Kyoko sistema delle tegole sopra la stanza di Akemi.
Un operaio aggiusta il balconcino della stanza di Godai.
62 L'idraulico esegue una visita di manutenzione periodica e ripara la tubazione dell'acqua del lavabo vicino al telefono rosa che si era rotta.


Lavori di riparazione e/o manutenzione ripetuti
ep. descrizione
x Kyoko spazza il vialetto d'ingresso.
1 Godai rattoppa con delle assi il buco nel muro. Yotsuya lo riapre subito.
22 Kyoko decide di farlo chiudere con dell'intonaco.
24 Yotsuya decide alla fine di riaprirlo una volta per tutte.


Le camere della Ikkoku-kan
camera tatami mq. episodio considerato
#0 Kyoko 8 12.90 episodio 23
Entrando nella stanza, il telefono si trova alla sinistra appoggiato alla parete. Il cucinino si trova sulla destra. Uscendo sul terrazzino, si puo' notare la lavatrice sulla destra.
#1 Ichinose 6 9.72 episodio 11
#2 Nikaido 4.5 7.29 episodio 20
#3 libera 4.5 7.29 episodi 20 e 50
#4 Yotsuya 3.5 5.67 episodio 65
#5 Godai 6 9.72 episodi 20 e 50
#6 Akemi 3.5 5.67 episodio 65
Akemi dorme in letto in stile occidentale anziche' in un futon.