Saturday, January 2, 2010
Continuing with a further look at Japan's favorite building material, concrete.
In Japan tetrapod is the generic name for a variety of concretes shapes used in "coastal defence" and riverside erosion control. There are dozens of variations in size and shape other than the true tetrapod which has 4 legs.
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that they often cause more problems than they solve, not least of which the uglification of the coast. More than 50% of the Japanese coast has been concreted. Less than 2% of Osaka Bay is natural.
Of course, some might say that the main function of tetrapods is to provide profits for concrete and construction companies.
In Junior High Schools in Japan kids are taught that "We Japanese love nature, but the West (by which is meant the USA) try to control nature"