NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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間垣 Magaki Magaki

Jp En

Magaki are cane fences that rise higher than the tops of the eaves of houses, and which can be seen along Nishiho Shore in the town of Monzen, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Nishiho Shore has 80m-high cliffs and gigantic rocks and in winter is buffeted by strong winter monsoon winds blowing in from the Japan Sea. Magaki fences are built to protect the houses from these winds. The fences are built to a height of about 5m, using strong whangee canes (a kind of tall grass, often mistaken for bamboo) closely lined together. Magaki help to cool the houses in summer, while keeping them warm in winter. They reveal the wisdom of the Noto people in adapting to their natural environment.

In November, people start mending the magaki in preparation for the strong winter winds; it's a sign that autumn is ending and winter is coming.
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