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Tuesday
Oct262010

Art of Living in Fukuoka

It's been with quite some dismay that I've watched neighborhoods lose their architectural treasures over the years. When I first came to Japan almost two decades ago it wasn't hard to find a traditional Japanese home or shop or even a cluster of such buildings here and there. Over time, however, these jewels have been torn down only to be replaced by ¥100 parking lots and apartment buildings which lack the soul these dwellings have. The trend has continued unabated and so as I walk through town, I try to photograph the traditional Japanese homes I come across just as a zoologist might try to record a dying species. 


 In Imagawa, Chûô-ku

 

Daimyô, Chûô-ku 

 

The entrance to a gorgeous home located in the affluent Sakurazaka neighborhood of Chûô-ku. 

 

As the sign says, this is a rather unassuming shichi-ya, or pawn shop, located in Imaizumi, Chûô-ku. Curiosity had me poke my head inside once where I found a teller window of sorts. Unlike most pawn shops which display and sell items forfeited by customers unable to pay off their loans, nothing was on sale inside. Considering the size and location of the property this house sits on, business must be good.

 

Nishijin, Sawara-ku

 

The former residence of the owner of Jôkyû Shôyu (soy sauce), in Daimyô, Chûô-ku. The house was renovated several months ago is now home to a popular soba restaurant called Yabukin

 

 

The view from the second floor of the kura and roofing.

 

 

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for this. I used to live in Ishigaki-cho, the suburb directly south of Gion in Kyoto. It was an old area that was being knocked down one machiya at a time as owners died and relatives had to sell to cover Inheritance Tax. The new owners knocked them down and put up aparto buildings. As a History teacher, it broke my heart.

May 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Breaks my heart, too.

I've seen so many beautiful homes bulldozed and turned into parking lots that I've given up hope.

May 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterAonghas Crowe

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