Townscape of Red, Fukiya -02(Takahasshi, Okayama, Japan)

The first impression of the townscape of Fukiya is a vermilion Sekisyu roof tile. There are many houses of Tsuma-iri form (a type that the main entrance is on the gable side) although you see sometimes Hira-iri form (a type that the main entrance is on the side parallel to the ridge), so, when walking in the main street, the big tiled roof with vermillion color stands up so that the view would be ruled greatly by those.

According to the unevenness at baking tile and the degree of erosion, the vermillion of the roof changes the color slightly in vermilion mixed with green or the reddish brown included purple, and makes a delicate expression. In addition, the color and luster of the vermillion metamorphoses as the angle of the sun moves, and, when the setting sun strengthens the color of light, the shade of vermillion goes up further.

The facade assorts the white plaster wall, the mud wall which orange color or bright red color was produced by Bengala, the wood siding wall and lattice painted in red by Bengala, and Namako wall that combined the gray tile with the white clay, and the various facade patterns appear richly. And, the shop curtain dyed by Bengala is hung in front of the entrance door of some houses.

In the facade, the red is superior and remarkable, too.

Fukiya is not only a special place in the quality of architecture and traditional townscape but also the place where red design elements that traditional villages in Japan had met together.

However, according to the author of 'Bicchu Fukiya', Ichiro Takahara, the majority of current Bengala walls seems to be re-plastered based on no historical investigation when repairing in recent years.

This townscape of merchant family houses that appear suddenly in the mountainous place shows that Bengala was a very special product and there was time when the wealth was exchanged in the townscape regardless of the location.

When the new industrial method of Bengala manufaturing was developed in the middle of the 20th century, the domination of Fukiya finished and the village has declined.

To Japanese Version

Link on Fukiya:

Fukiya Furusato Village

Link on Accomodations in Fukiya:

La foret Fukiya

Fukiya International Villa

Transportation :

1. To Okayama Station from Tokyo Station : 3 hours 20 minutes by Bullet Train 'Nozomi' via Tokaido Shinkansen Line and Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 3 trains an hour --- To Bicchu Takahashi Station from Okayama Station : 35 minutes by Express Train 'Yakumo' via Hakubi-sen Line. About 1 train an hour --- To Fukiya Village from Bicchu Takahashi Station : 1 hour by Local Bus of Bihoku Bus Company. 3 buses a day.

2. To Okayama Station from Tokyo Station : 3 hours 20 minutes by Bullet Train 'Nozomi' via Tokaido Shinkansen Line and Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 3 trains an hour --- To Fukiya Village from Okayama Station : 2 hours by Car.

3. To Okayama Airport from Tokyo Haneda Airport : 75 minutes by Flight. About 10 flights a day. --- To Fukiya Village from Okayama Airpot : 1 hour 30 minutes by Car.

Link on Transportations

Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Central Japan Railway Company)

Sanyo Shinkansen Line and Hakubi-sen Line (West Japan Railway Company)

Bihoku Bus Company

Tokyo Haneda Airport

Okayama Airport

Reference Materials:

「備中吹屋」(高原一朗、山崎泰雄、山陽新聞社、1993)

Upload : 2009.06

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Photo by Daigo Ishii