Swanica explores Japan

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

This will be my last blog before I return to the US for 3 weeks.

The roofs in Japan are spectacular. The tiles are made of clay and quite a couple are glazed blue.

You see a blue glazed tile roof in this picture,
black clay roof and a treasure house in the back. It is a little house made from very thick stone for protection of earthquakes and of treasures during wartime.

A house with a blue glazed roof in the Odawara Soga Plum "Ume" orchard.

A modern style house with a blue roof.

A green glazed roof.

A temple roof with the curled up corners.

A lot of houses also have the original black clay roofs.

View from our balcony on all our neighbor houses. The electric wiring is above the ground.

You hardly see similar looking houses. They are as different as the people. Funny, in a land where everything and everyone is so controlled by the group. Luckily, they have an outlet to express their individualism.

An old tiny house with a plate iron roof.

The covers of sewers or drains in the streets of Japan can have some very special designs. Very original.
This one is in our street. This is near the beach. Clearly visible in the design.

This is the tower of Kamakura station.

Mashiko lillies.

Banner standards for the Mashiko fire department.

Himeji has still the original castle from the 16th century which was not bombed or didn't burn down. A lot of the castles are renovated and built again with concrete walls, like the Osaka and Odawara castle.
The castle is completely white and hence looks like a white egret.

Again the white egret from Himeji.

2 Street covers from Yosokusa and Machiko. Obviously, the covers hide a waterpipe for the fire engine.

Yokosuka with the cherry flowers "Sakura".

And the American Navy is stationed in Yokosuka.

The bridge from Yokohama, a connection between 2 islands.

A lid in one of the streets we road our bicycles on, of the village Hayama near the sea, where you can sail and see beautiful flowers and birds.

On Saturday, I did my first oil kiln firing in the kiln from Mr.Sato.

This is the motor with the flu. Here you can adjust the amount of oxygene, so the oil will burn well and to its fullest. When you see black smoke coming out of the chimney, you increase the air/oxygene.

You also control the increase of temperature by partially closing the chimney.

The oildrum, the fuel.

The pyrometer shows the temperature.

The kiln is filled so that you can easily take the pieces out of the kiln.

Taking a little peek.

Taking a piece out.

A tissue outside and inside burning for smoke effects.

Putting the horsehair on.

Spraying the ferric chloride.

The end result. It takes some days for the colors to develop.

Some results from the horsehair firing in an oil kiln.

Tall s-line vase.

A bowl plate.
The colors of the ferric chloride developed well.

A round little vase.

"Cloudy sky" bowl plate.

Square Vase.
You clearly can see the smoke from the burning of the horsehair in the slip.

When we went to Odawara to the orchards we saw those beautiful sewer covers and drain lids and tiles in the road, because we walk and bicycle everywhere. They make wonderful lids, especially the ones about the "Ume" flower for which Odawara is famous.

This is a small cover with an plum "ume" flower in Odawara.
(click on the image to increase the size).

Here they put some tiles from the Odawara castle in the road. Just somewhere close to the castle.

Here are some waterlilies in the castle's moot.

This is the castle. It is near the sea and has a beach.

Some more "Ume" flowers.

Lots of water in Odawara.

Another branch with "Ume" flowers.