|All that remains are the Kura (oldphotosjapan.com)|
|Plaster Kura doors with wood winter door inside.|
|City view, Meiji era - notice all the kura storehouses in white.|
Because of the nature of Japanese weather the houses needed to vent well to stay cool and free of mold in the hot humid summer. Fireproof stone and brick homes were a danger in earthquake prone Japan. You could run from a fire but not from an earthquake so a flammable well vented building style was chosen. Because of this anything left in the rooms were also likely to be lost in a fire. Fire proof buildings were created with thick plaster walls and small windows that could be closed in an emergency. But the fire proof buildings would not do their job if they were well vented, which created a problem with moisture. Inside the kura was much cooler than outside which created condensation. This condensation could rust swords, rot books and paintings and destroy clothes. The solution was to create storage containers that protected your goods from moisture. Tansu are the solution. The exterior could be lacquered to repel water on the exterior and the interior woods like Kiri absorbed ambient moisture within the drawer pulling it away from the contents.
|Kura with small window and wood siding.|
|Kura with small windows with metal shutters. |
The wood flashing is to protect against the weather.
|Interior of kura with storage boxes for housewares|
|Interior of a kura|
|Plaster kura windows with metal mechanisms to close them from inside.|