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Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
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Japan Cultural EXPO
beyond2020

Traditional Roof Tiling
Honkawara-buki refers to the traditional Japanese tiled roofs that use a mixture of concave and convex tiles. Achieving the graceful curves requires discernment and talent.

Society for the Preservation of Traditional Japanese Roof-Tiling Skills

Accredited in 2007
Yamamoto Kawara Kogyo K.K.362 Tanida-cho, Ikoma-shi,Nara.630-0251

Kawara-buki style roofs, using a mixture of concave and convex tiles, are often seen in Buddhist temples, castles, and other traditional structures in Japan. This traditional form of tiling, which requires a considerable degree of skill, provides good protection against the elements, in addition to producing beautifully curved eaves and roofs.

The Kannon-dō Pavillion at Kyoto’s Ninna-ji Temple.
Laying a row of semi-cylindrical tiles (tonemaru-gawara)
Laying tiles without any underlay (a technique called karabuki)
Roof tiling for a clay wall
Aligning tiles