The Isono Barber Shop is called Kosaka Castle. It gets its name from the name of the local district, Shimo-Kosaka-Machi, in Higashi Osaka City. Above the barber shop rises the miniature five-storied main tower of a castle.
"The tower is three meters tall. It's made out of recycled waste products, so it cost me almost nothing to make," says the barber, Isono Ken-ichi. He began building his "castle" 20 years ago.
It all started when he built a turret on his shed to make it look better. He had always liked Japanese traditional architecture, "so I thought I might as well build the main tower of a castle, too!" he says. He drew some sketches, gathered up some materials that had been thrown away, and began building, keeping at it regularly during his time off.
Before long he was so keen on the project he began decorating the tower's interior as well. He drew pictures onfusumasliding doors in the room on the first floor, then laid out a golden tearoom in the uppermost part of the tower, complete with gold paper panels. The pocket garden (roughly 3.3 m2) has a tiny waterfall that was finished just last year.
And the total construction cost? Only about 50,000 yen so far. The work continues--Isono's head is full of other ideas for his castle.