Friday, June 17, 2011

Big Roof Kawara


Kawara are ceramic rooftiles originally brought in from Korea to roof the first Buddhist temple in Japan in Asuka. Initially produced by immigrant artisans, they were only used on temples.


During the Heian Period is was stipulated that senior members of the court must roof their homes with them, but most people still used thatch or cedar-bark shingle until the Edo Period when mass production began.


There are currently more than 1,000 different styles.


The Iwami area and specifically Gotsu is a major producer of kawara, mostly in the distinctive red-earth color, though many colors are now available.



  1. I find it truly amazing that beauty can be found even in their rooves. And your attention to details is second to none.

    Have a nice weekend!

  2. Special pictures, very nice idea

  3. Kawaii Kawara! Lovely pics, I just can't believe you have 1,000 different types.
    Have a blissful weekend, ciao!

  4. I found the kawara most interesting on the tip of the Noto Hanto in Ishikawa Ken. Everyone had the same style, black kawara on their homes. Very beautiful.

  5. I love looking at details like this, and I truly respect your ability capture and express them so beautifully through photography. Many people walk around every day without noticing the small things such as this that make Japan (and the world) such an interesting place.

  6. Great post! Just catching up on a lot of these... just got back from Japan myself. :)