Friday, November 28, 2008

Typical Japanese Landscape 11

hik859

It doesn't get any more typical than my own village,... flat area for rice paddies, with houses up against the base of steep hills. This was taken 2 weeks ago.

6 comments:

  1. very different from what might be build nowadays... depending on the orientation, those houses at the base of the mountain may get little to no sun. People often put their houses in the least sunny place, saving the sunny areas for crops. Now that is unthinkable as everyone (me included) wants a south facing picture window.

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  2. In the photo, my house is in back of the village, already in shadow. The shot is taken viewing directly north. It's true there seems to be no sense of building "intelligently" in Japan :)

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  3. Intelligence is always relative... The Japanese summers are quite hot, so the lack of sunshine can be seen as a benefit during that time of year. Admittedly, my previous house in the Japanese countryside suffered in this respect, and we had quite a mold problem in the summers... Traditionally, houses were kept very open, allowing for the breezes to blow through though, so the mold could be avoided in that way. The shade would also allow for cooler air to circulate in the houses. In the winter it can get mighty cold though, especially considering the general lack of insulation, double-pane windows, and central heating...

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  4. Oops... I neglected to comment on the beautiful photo! Another wonderful shot. I wish I could make back out that way to see what you have done with the house...

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  5. I agree, steve, I didn't mean that the old way to build was bad, more that now we only look for "zeitaku" comforts like a south facing window and lots of sun, while in the old days they sacrificed some warmth sometimes in order to make the building fit within the system. Without imported rice it was more important to make the best land into cropland. Now we rely on imported food, so people take the best land for building homes.

    And yes, the mold is a big problem and people no tend to rely on eletric dehumidifiers rather than smart building. It is cold in the winter, but no matter how hot it gets outside in the summer here (almost as hot as Tokyo) it is always cool indoors. Its amazing.

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  6. Beautiful picture! I've added you to the links on my blog.

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