Japanese architecture has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Partly due also to the variety of climates in Japan and the millennium encompassed between the first cultural import and the last, the result is extremely heterogeneous, but several practically universal features can nonetheless be found.
First, wood in various forms (planks, straw, tree bark, paper, etc.) is the choice of materials for almost all structures. Next, the general structure is almost always the same: posts and lintels support a large and gently curved roof, while the walls are paper-thin, often movable and in any case non-carrying. The roof is the most visually impressive component, often constituting half the size of the whole edifice. The slightly curved eaves extend far beyond the walls, covering verandas, and their weight must therefore be supported by complex bracket systems.
Much in the traditional architecture of Japan is not native, but was imported from China and other Asian cultures over the centuries. Japanese traditional architecture and its history are as a consequence dominated by Chinese and Asian techniques and styles. In any event, post-modern Japanese architecture is eye-catching and very beautiful.
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