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Sekishu-gawara (Sekishu Roof Tiles)


Gorgeous red-tile roofs that sprout up in the blue sky


When people first visit this area, they inevitably express surprise at seeing the red roofs. The sekishu roof tiles of the villages along the coastline contrast beautifully with the blue of the Sea of Japan. The communities of sekishu roof tiles harmonize gently with the greens of the mountains and fields. Even today, the scenery in the Iwami region contains remnants of scenes from the everyday life that is unique to the region. Sekishu roof tiles, the representative red roof tile, are traditional tiles that date back some 400 years from today. At that time, they were carried as far north as Hokkaido on the Kitamaebune shipping route, and their high degree of durability means that they continue to perform their role splendidly even today. The clay that can be found in this region is of good quality and highly fire-resistant, and this is behind sekishu roof tiles’ characteristic qualities of toughness and resistance to freezing. Currently, a public-private initiative is underway to preserve the “red-tiledscape scenery” that is characterized by the sekishu roof tiles throughout the region. Furthermore, steady progress has been made with efforts to develop and produce “Western” tiles that can also be utilized in Western-style architecture, and the market for them now extends as far as Russia.

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