Palm trees in Kurashiki traditional courtyard house

Palm trees in Kurashiki traditional courtyard house

During the trip to Inujima, we spent a night in Kurashiki, an old warehouse town near Okayama that survived both the war and modernization. In the Ohashi house, built by a wealthy merchant in 1796, there is a wonderful example of a mansion built around courtyards that offer ventilation and gardens.

Palm trees in Kurashiki traditional courtyard house

Perhaps similar to Kyoto’s kyomachiya (capital town homes), the use of courtyards and the ability to open the house to nature provide a historic reference that could inspire contemporary residential architecture.

Palm trees in Kurashiki traditional courtyard house

 

2 comments

    1. Yes, Jonathan, they are rhapis palms, native to southeastern Asia, from southern Japan and southern China to Thailand. They can be grown indoors, or outdoors where there’s no frost. The most common ornamental Rhapis excelsa is not found in the wild, and has its origins in cultivation for the Tokugawa shogunate palaces.

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