12/22/2015

Fukiyacho District

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. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .
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Fukiyachoo 葺屋町 Fukiyacho District of roof thatchers
yanefuki, yanebuki 屋根葺 roofing, roof covering, roofer
kayabuki 茅葺 thatching, thatched roof



In former times this was a large wetland with lots of reeds.
In 1615 it was drained and made into a district.
Many craftsmen for roof thatching came to live here, hence the name.
- - - - - yanefuki 屋根葺き roofer, see below

In 1634, the famous Kabuki theaters were erected in the area and nearby Sakai.
堺町 - 葺屋町 Sakai Machi, Fukiya Choo
. Edo Sanza 江戸三座 - the three famous Kabuki theaters of Edo .

Soon there were many small tea stalls in the area.


Fukiya and Sakai

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Kayabacho 茅場町
Kayabacho is in the southern part of the Nihonbashi area.
In the Edo Period, reed fields abounded in the area. Many merchants selling roof thatch lived here.
Since Kayabacho is near the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it has become a business district with many stock brokerage firms. It is called one of the world's Big Three financial centers and Japan's Wall Street. The streets are filled with businessmen.Going to Nippon Budokan and Tokyo Disney Resort is also convenient.
There are many business hotels around the subway station.In 1887, Tokyo Dento Co., Japan's first electric power company, built Japan's first power plant in Kayabacho. It started supplying electricity to nearby customers such as Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) and the Tokyo Post Office.Two branches of the Kamejima River flow through Kayabacho and empty into the Sumida River. The Kamejima River branches off from the Nihonbashi River.Upstream where the Kamejima River branches off, there is the Nihonbashi Sluice Gate. And downstream at the river mouth is the Kamejima River Sluice Gate. Both gates prevent flooding caused by high tide countercurrents.
- source : gurunavi.com/en -


Minami Kayabachoo 南茅場町 Minami Kayabacho, Minami-Kayabacho
Apart from the roof thatch dealers, soon more drinking places and restaurants were built there.


Kaikoan restaurant at Minami-Kayabacho
歌川広重 Utagawa Hiroshige

東都高名会席尽 茅場町 葛の葉 (Kuzunoha)
Kaiko-an, Minami-Kayabacho

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Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge (Cladium mariscus), rushes, or heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation. By contrast in some developed countries it is now the choice of affluent people who desire a rustic look for their home, would like a more ecologically friendly roof, or who have purchased an originally thatched abode.
A thatched roof
is usually pitched between 45–55 degrees and under normal circumstances this is sufficient to shed snow and water. In areas of extreme snowfall, such as parts of Japan, the pitch is increased further.
- source : wikipedia


- quote -
kayabuki yane 茅葺屋根. Lit. thatching with miscanthus.
However, the word kaya 茅 includes the use of many kinds of grasses, reeds and straw. Although thatched roofs are usually associated with vernacular dwellings minka 民家, some shrine or temple buildings or gates still use this type of roofing material. Thatch roofs last a maximum of about 30 years, before thatching becomes necessary. About half the thatch can be removed, dried out and reused.
... The shape and pitch of thatched roofs vary from region to region. The steepest roofs use the gasshou style gasshou-zukuri 合掌造 (gasshozukuri), to shed snow easily while in milder areas the pitch used is relatively gentle.
- Read the details here :
- source : JAANUS-


. WKD - kaya fuku 萱葺く thatching a roof .
kaya karu 萱刈る (かやかる) cutting miscanthus (reeds)
ashi kari 蘆刈 (あしかり) cutting reeds
kaya - Schilfgras




yanefuki 屋根葺き roofer, craftsman making roofs
yaneya 屋根屋 roof maker


They used all kinds of material for roofs in Edo.
One of their most important tools were the kugi 釘 nails made of various materials.
They placed a bundle of them in the mouth to have both hands free and spit them out as work proceeded.

. kugi 釘 Japanese nail, Nagel - Introduction .


More details about the craftsmen:
. yane 屋根 roof - Dach / yaneya 屋根屋 roof maker .
okugai 屋蓋, lit. roof covering.

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. Shirakawa go 白河郷 Shirakawa - Gifu .
The houses in the villages in the valley are unique to Japan. They are very big, and have thick thatched roofs that come down steeply.

. iori, an 庵 thatched roof hut .

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- quote
itabuki 板葺 Wood shingles
Widely used in Japan for buildings of many kinds, ranging from palaces, elite residences, shrines and temples to ordinary houses *minka 民家. Itabuki is believed to have been used at a high social level as early as the Asuka period. On vernacular houses, it was particularly used in mountainous areas where material for thatch was relatively hard to obtain. In urban districts it was gradually displaced during the last years of the Edo period by tile, which was both fireproof and longer lasting (itabuki roofs lasted about 30 years).
Generally, the shingles were made from a log split first into quarters along the grain, and then cut or split (with wedges or a hatchet nata 鉈) into progressively thinner boards. These were less than 75mm thick, and their width was less than three times their thickness. The preferred materials were cedar sugi 杉, sweet chestnut kuri 栗 and chamaeciparis pisifera sawara 椹. Reddish, sinuous lumber was preferred.
Shingle types, in declining order of quality,
included: tochi 栩, tokusa 木賊, masa 柾, koba 木羽, and kokera 柿.
It is clear from a comparison of early medieval itabuki on vernacular houses, as depicted in illustrated handscrolls emaki 絵巻, and itabuki shown in late Muromachi to Momoyama period painted screens *byoubu-e 屏風絵, that there was a general tendency for the shingles to get smaller.
In the late Heian period,
the distance from ridge to intermediate pillars irigawabashira 入側柱, and from intermediate pillars to outer pillars kawabashira 側柱 were each spanned with a single long shingle. In the Momoyama period, four or five shingles seem to have been enough to cover the distance from ridge to eaves, suggesting that the length of individual shingles was reduced by half. By the later Edo period,
large shingles averaged between 45-85cm in length by 9-15cm in width by 1cm thick, while small ones averaged 30cm in length by 12cm in width by 3mm thick. Roofing undertaken with the larger type is called naga-itabuki 長板葺, and with the smaller, ko-itabuki 小板葺. Doubtless dwindling timber resources led to this diminution in size.
From medieval times,
however, small shingles came to be used in more refined itabuki roofs on elite residences, shrines, and presumably developed to simulate the effects of cypress-bark roofing hiwadabuki 桧皮葺. In these roofs, the lap of the shingle courses was far greater.
A variety of names were used for such roofs,
according to the detail and the type and thickness of the single, but the best known are tochibuki 栩葺 and kokerabuki 柿葺. Other forms of itabuki include sogibuki 殺ぎ葺, noshibuki 熨斗葺, yamatobuki 大和葺, odawarabuki 小田原葺, tontonbuki とんとん葺 and ishioki itabuki 石置板葺.
The character of itabuki roofs varied from the most curvaceous elegance possible, kokerabuki, which could be used for nearly any shape of roof, to the straight, shallowly pitched roofs of ishioki itabuki houses, which were almost invariably gabled kirizuma yane 切妻屋根. Fixings as well as shingle size had much to do with this contrast: kokerabuki shingles were held in place with bamboo nails, while ishioki itabuki was held in place with stones. Roofs could not be steep or the stones would roll off.

hiwadabuki 檜葺 cypress-bark thatched roofing
A roof covered with layers of Japanese cypress hinoki 桧 (檜) bark shingles. The shingles are usually 45-60cm in length, 4-15cm in width, and 9-12cm thick. The extension from the overlap of one shingle over another is 1-2cm. Cypress shingles are secured with bamboo nails.

kokerabuki 柿葺 simple shingled roof
A roof covering made with a layer of thin wooden shingles made of cypress. The shingles are about 0.3cm-0.5cm thick, 9cm-15cm wide and about 30cm long. The shingles are secured with bamboo nails. Sometimes cedar or persimmon wood is used.
- source : JAANUS -


. amigasamon 編笠門 watttle-hood gate .

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Yamanashi 山梨県 千代田村 Chiyoda village
Once a roof is finished thatching, 天狗 Tengu is invited and worshipped. Tengu (and his deity version, Sarutahiko) is seen as a deity of water and should help to protect the home from fires.
The roof makers 屋根屋 have since olden times prayed to Sarutahiko as the deity of their profession.

. Sarutahiko densetsu 猿田彦伝説 Sarutahiko Legends .

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. Japanese Architecture - Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


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