NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/13


蔵 土蔵 Kura Dozou Kura and Dozo Storehouses

Jp En

Kura and dozo are storehouses that are built according to traditional Japanese architectural styles, with outer walls hardened by mud and plaster.

Buildings such as kura and dozo were predominantly built for fire and theft prevention, but later on began to be built as a sign of wealth. Formerly used to resist fires during the Edo period, the kura or dozo are known to be strong enough to withstand and retard any fire, as already proved during the American carpet-bombings of World War II.

The walls of kura and dozo have characteristic bumps that have led to them being dubbed 'sea-cucumber walls'. Currently, these kinds of buildings take advantage of their distinct look and are used as restaurants or shops.

Plasterers who complete the walls with mud and plaster work hand-in-hand on traditional architecture projects. Plasterers have always been unbelievably skilled workers who took wall-making to artistic levels.
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2007/1/9


うだつの街並み Udatuno-matinami Streets Featuring Udatsu

Jp En

Streets featuring 'udatsu' may be seen in the town of Waki, Tokushima. The Agency of Cultural Affairs has designated these streets as Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan. In addition, The Ministry of Construction has selected these streets to be included among 100 (Famous) Streets of Japan and 100 (Famous) Urban Landscapes.

Udatsu are the white-plastered parts above the first floor of the houses, and were originally built to act as firewalls between each house. However, they slowly took on a more decorative function, becoming increasingly gorgeous. Eventually, roof tiles came to cover the plaster.

Fine udatsu were created for the houses of merchants around the Kansai area. The proverb 'Can’t build up the udatsu' comes from these udatsu.

To preserve these streets, the town of Waki followed national regulations for urban scenery in 1998, which led to Waki's streets being selected as the 28th Urban Landscape of Japan by The Agency of Cultural Affairs.

These streets featuring udatsu have a calm and nostalgic feel that makes you think of everyday life in Edo times.
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2007/1/8


脇町うだつ Wakimati-udatu Wakimachi Udatsu Houses

Jp En

Wakimachi, in Mima, Tokushima Prefecture, is an historic area of houses featuring udatsu wing walls. In 1988, the area was designated as the 28th National Site of Important Traditional Architecture.

Udatsu is a roof extension used as a wing wall between the first and second floors of a building. Its original function was primarily as a fire-barrier outer wall, but it became ornamental. Merchants attached udatsu to their houses to show off their wealth.

Udatsu are the origin of the saying 'Udatsu ga agaranai', which means, 'Having no chance of advancement'. Besides, because only the wealthy could afford udatsu, the adage carries snobbish overtones.

There are about 50 udatsu along the Southern street of Waki. Most were built between the late-Edo and Meiji periods. There is a great sense of Japanese history and tradition in this architecture.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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