Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Fine Looking Alley

I found this fine looking alley during one of my walks around the Otawara, Tochigi-ken neighborhood.  What really caught my eye was the beautiful looking stone sidewalk or walkway. On one side was a fine looking wall that contained peoples yards or entryways.



Notice the interesting texture of the walkway with the white stone with red flecks and spots. Very pretty. On the left of the bottom photo is what is left of an older stone wall that collapsed during the March 2011 earthquake. The wall contains a cemetery.


10 comments:

  1. Very cool and that is a pretty high wall. Great for some privacy :)

    Japan Australia

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  2. Yes, that wall was a bit higher than usual.

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  3. I'm proud of our technology of architecture. :)

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  4. I really enjoy it too. :)

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  5. It's good masonry work. My grandfather was a stone mason from Italy. I considered him one of the best in the world (he was that good - his masonry stood up after 50 years like it was built yesterday). I used to build walls with him when he was still alive. It's hard for me to look at any masonry without a critical eye. Such as the dark spots. Water will wear away stone. It's just a matter of time. It's good masonry work. It is showing some signs of erosion.

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  6. Interesting analysis. I had not thought of that. I see your point and yes I can see where the soft dark spots are starting to wear away.

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  7. I've gotten into heated discussions with friends over masonry. My friend had a wall built in Thailand and I could not believe how it was buing constructed. I think he got real tired of my questions after 15 minutes.

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  8. I really like stone walls for some reason. Although I am not an expert on the quality, I really think Japan has some beautiful looking stone walls. Much better than typical ones I see here in Los Angeles. Except California does have a lot of beautiful sandstone stone walls.

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  9. Having a stone mason for a grandfather and a stone cutter for a great grandfather, I think I have inherited a love for masonry. My favorite stone work is the brownstone you see in NYC and Philadelphia. The stone came from where I grew up, outside of a small town in central Pennsyvlania, in the middle of the countryside where the limestone got the bacteria that turned the white rock brown. The reason its not used anymore is that it was all quarried out.

    My great grandfather worked in those quarries cutting the rock by hand, along with other Italian immigrants who brought their craft to this country. I remember as a young man, walking down deserted roads to these same quarries (before they were fenced in). The quarries had flooded over time and became secluded spots to go swimming in. Yea, they were posted "NO TRESSPASSING" but that made them more interesting. The worst that happened back then was getting chased out by some old timer.

    I remember visiting these places on hot humid summer days and spending afternoons there, swimming and marveling at the cut pillars of rock remaining and how magnificent it must have been before it flooded. After we swam we'd walk home laughing. It was a hike too. We'd walk miles to go there and miles to come back home.

    I love visiting the temples and shrines in Japan. They were built with love and craftsmanship. They were also built to survive earthquakes. One of the things I've learned is modern construction in Japan is based on what they learned in the past. The modern buildings that are earthquake resistent are based on successful temple designs from the past.

    Japan has some of the finest construction and buildings. I love Uchiko town on my wifes Island of Shikoku. Uchiko is a merchant town that thrived from the Edo period through the Meiji era. Uchiko is famous for candles. Not only candles but white candles which were unique for that time. The town became wealthy from the manufacturing and sale of candles. They were sold to markets in Asia, the US and Europe. Uchiko is the earliest example of Stucco I have seen in person.

    My blog entry on Uchiko Town

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