Yes, I know this sounds a bit weird. Images of Japanese roofs? Really? Looking through hundreds of images I took in Japan last year, I couldn’t work out how to present them. Not by city or date: I wasn’t interested in yet-another-Japan-travelogue any more than you are.
Only after puzzling over a theme for this collection for some time did it strike me what the predominant subject was. Then it took a little while longer to accept that one way to understand what is particular about Japanese traditional architecture and, in some respects, Japanese cultural history is to pay attention to the roofs of Japanese buildings. They exhibit lightness; tradition; craft; altitude; privacy; hierarchy; proportion; drama; darkness; brilliance.
I certainly did not plan this approach when I took the photos. As usual my "plan" for photography is nothing more sophisticated than "collect some image assets and decide what to do with them later". This was how I approached my three weeks in Japan in the summer of 2019. I left the curation for later. But it turned out to be six months later, in this case.
This is not the only thematic idea I came up with. There are many images I'd like to show you that don't fit in this collection. I'll have to work on other ideas that gather the remaining images together.
Meanwhile, please click on the thumbnail ‘contents' image below to download a PDF file (42MB) from my DropBox. Once you have the PDF, please view it FULL SCREEN in a program such as the (free) Adobe Acrobat Reader to see the images as I intended.
I hope you enjoy this (admittedly off-beat) selection.