November 17, 2010

R is for Roof Tile

At ABC Wednesday, the letter for the day is R, and my contribution is roof tile - more specifically, ornate old Japanese kawara roof tiles. 

These black clay ceramic tiles were (and still are) used on traditional homes and temples and age beautifully. More elaborate structures would include ornamental figures.

A typical roof tile will have some kind of design feature that may or may not also serve as an amulet. The terminal decoration is called onigawara or ridge end tiles, One popular design is the swirling eddy, as it was believed to ward against fire. I've shown you the swirling eddy before and there are a few more here (2, 3, 4 and 6), as well as other designs (1, 5 and 7). 



 
 
 Kansai, 2009

These decorative roof details were all photographed in the Kansai region of Japan.

28 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

Amazing decoration, these roof tiles are beautiful, several details in so "petit"stuff!
Amazing choice for this R theme, very interesting REPORTAGE! :)
hugs and REGARDS,
Léia

Sylvia K said...

What a terrific and very interesting post for the R Day, Francisca! Love the roof tiles, so beautiful! Your photos are terrific as always, Francisca! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Dina said...

Such honorable houses in every way.

Amy said...

You captured the tiles' unique beauty wonderfully. I really enjoyed seeing them, so thank you!

Andy said...

I always enjoy the photos on your web page. You have photographic skills that bring out the best.

EG Wow said...

Amazing details! I would love to understand the meaning of the various images.

Leslie: said...

Ravishing roof tiles! You've taken some wonderful photos here. Hope you have a resplendent week. :D

Kay L. Davies said...

Really lovely, Francisca. Wonderful, isn't it, the depth of detail for something we usually consider utilitarian? I always love your photos.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

jennyfreckles said...

They take the art of home decoration to a different level. How fascinating.

Pat Tillett said...

Great photos! The japanese are amazing. Do you have any photos of the decorative man-hole (sewer) covers?

Cildemer said...

Your pictures are wonderful and I lo love those tiles. They are terrific!
Thanks for sharing;o)

***
Happy ABC Wednesday****

photowannabe said...

The roof tiles are so elegant and have amazing detail. Thanks for sharing them with us.

VioletSky said...

I have always envied them their decorative and elegant roof tiles. Why, oh why, are we stuck with boring shingles?

Roger Owen Green said...

very fancy; not at all boring.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Linda said...

What a beautiful array of roof tiles. I enjoyed the words accompanying the tiles—

LInda
ABC Wednesday team

Leah said...

Lovely roof decorations.. I've seen some of those here in the Philippines.. but only a few. They're made of tiles, and mostly used as roof tiles for temples, and some houses, of course..

Lovely photographs... =)

http://neneleah30.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-robinson.html

VP said...

I could spend a dau taking pictures of these roofs!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

The different tiles are fascinating.

Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

On hienoja räystäiden kuvia, ei meillä Suomess tuollaisia näy. Muutenkin blogisi on kiva katseltava ja luettava. Näin bogeja katsellen on kiva tutustua toisten maiden kultuurii. Tule sinäkin katsomaan Teuvon Kuvat blogi ja kerro myös ystävillesi miksi kannattaa käydä katsomassa Teuvon kuvat blogi, samalla saadaan teidän maanne lippu nousemaan korkeammalle minun blogissa. Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

Wanda said...

Now that's what I call ROOF Tiles...Very exquisite.

James said...

What an amazing roof. It looks a lot like one that I saw in an Asian exhibit at the Philadelphia museum of art.

jabblog said...

Beautiful work on something that is not immediately noticeable. I like the thinking behind the swirling eddy.

Erika B said...

Truly beautiful. Perfect for R. When we were in China we went totally crazy with our cameras over details like these but I'm sure glad we did now when I look at all the photos we have for us and the girls. You wanted to know what languages we speak at home. We speak swedish and a bit of english.

Erika B

JM said...

Gorgeous details, Francisca!

Evelyn said...

I love their attention to details.

Dafne Buelow said...

The Japanese are amazing. I mean, look at the details on those things. They are done by hand, by craftsman who perfected their craft for thousands of years. It's a joy to see these wonderful works of art.

Richard Boles said...

Yeah, these tiles are very attractive. Actually, they have been used by the Japanese since ancient times. And what’s good about them are their outstanding characteristics such as highly waterproof performance, unique design, and outstanding durability.

Richard Boles

Eulalia Symonds said...

Those are wonderful roof tiles! I wish I can have that swirling eddy on my roof too. It'll surely make my house stand out in our neighborhood.

-Eulalia Symonds