When I ask Shino and Ken Mori what the calligraphy hanging in their entry alcove says, it takes some back-and-forth to arrive at the answer—and even then, I suspect, it is only the closest approximation the English language could offer. "‘We don’t have much, but friends are welcome,’" Ken replies. To which Shino adds, "‘This house is empty, that’s why you can get smarter.’" Smarter? "If you don’t have things, you have to think to accomplish things," Ken explains. "Basically, you don’t have to have much."