Thursday, October 15, 2009

Japanese Architecture

Japanese Village Plaza includes a culture center, dozens of Japanese shops, bookstores and restaurants. The Plaza is typically quiet except for lunch and dinner hours and when they are hosting Nisei Week festivities.

One of the most striking structures in Little Tokyo is across the street from the Japanese American National Museum at one entrance to Japanese Village Plaza shopping center. Th Yagura Tower—a replica of a fire lookout tower in old rural Japan—withstood requested destruction by returning Japanese Americans after WWII because it reminded them of the guard towers at the concentration camps.

Japanese archtecture influence
I. Geographical.Japan, with its principal island, Nippon, and the long string of attendant isles to north and south, lies off the east coast of China, with the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Japan on the west. Japan presents many points of geographical resemblance to Great Britain : both have deeply indented coast-lines with good harbours ; both are island empires well situated for commerce, as they both lie opposite populous continents ; both are at the head of great ocean water-ways, the one of the Pacific, the other of the Atlantic, and both are warmed by ocean currents producing equable temperatures.
II. Geological. the prevalence of earthquakes has favoured timber construction, and the Japanese exhibit scientific ingenuity in the framing together of the various parts. Forests occupy four times the area of the tilled land, with a greater diversity of trees than any other country in the world, and bamboo is largely used in house construction. Stone in Japan is unstratified, hence it is frequently used in polygonal blocks, particularly for the lower part of walls on which is erected the upper timber construction. There are granites, porphyries, and volcanic rocks, but practically no limestones or sandstones.
III. Climatic.the island climate is made equable by ocean currents and by the prevalence of sea breezes. Houses, where possible, face the south, and deeply projecting eaves form a protection against the summer sun, and high courtyard walls against the winter wind. In summer the movable casement windows and partitions, which form the house fronts and offer little resistance to the penetration of heat, are removed, and so leave the houses entirely open to the breezes.

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