Okinawa, Japan | Part 2: Buildings of Naha : Beauty in Decay



Naha is a city unlike other big cities in Japan. In the first part I introduced Naha through the icon of the city and the island, the shisa. There are very few wooden buildings. The weather, the humidity, and the character of the people all etch their mark into the urban landscape. The carefree lifestyle of Okinawa is very different than that of mainland Japan.
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There is so much beauty in the slow decay of the cement, an almost wabi-sabi-like ceramic appearance. There was no intention to the cracked and peeled facades. They built for purpose: typhoon and sea storm protection. The gradual wear and tear of weather on the buildings is a very unique aesthetic beauty.
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Bright color is sun-faded, shisa displayed on cinderblocks for convenient impromptu solution. Igneous rock has depth and texture, this is people building from what is available locally: A natural and subtle beauty. OkinawaJapanBuildings23 OkinawaJapanBuildings19 OkinawaJapanBuildings17

Tiled roofs are refined and rugged. The thick tiles and extensive mortar serves as a reminder of the extensive maintenance that is involved.

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