“Kura” (in japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditonal Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.
I was reporting on a local festival in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, when I discovered two more kuras!
Actually there are many of them in Yui, especially along and the Old Tokaido Road where they were the first refuge against typhoons and tsunamis.
But most of them have now been transformed into hangars, shops and abodes with their second floors shaved off and using only the solid first floor as a base.
Therefore there only a very few with their roof intact!
I noticed this one by pure chance as it was completely surrounded by buildings of all kinds!
It was obviously used either as an abode or as a storeroom, and I managed to a peek at this window as the inhabitants seemed to be away during the New Year Holidays!
I found this old one along the same street. As it was surrounded by a car park I had an easier access to it!
The entrance was being repaired but the whole building, although small, seemed very till very solid!
The window and the roof were in good repair!
These iron supports are found in most kuras. They are there to keep the roof securely onto the walls in case of stong winds. Typhoons can easily send the tiles flying!
For all the lack of color and decoration it was very well-preserved!
Now, that window lock really looks ancient!
Now some of these kuras can very small indeed!
I found this one near my home!
Small but very old as shown by all the rust on the window!
At first I didn’t think that this long building was a kura!
I nonetheless decided to investigate!
For all the imposing solidity the large steel windows were old!
No openings at the back!
They had reformed the entrance, though!
It is effectively used as a kura by the local fire station!
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