“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.
I found this comparatively middle-sized kura in Kanaya, Shimada City during my recent Tea Festival coverage!
It looked old enough although in good repair. Only the windows showed its age as the concept of the walls in base stones and and hard concrete block made it very resistant!
An old Japanese talkative lady very proud of the more than the 90 years she lived in the city informed us that this kura was owned by the Matsumura Family apparently the richest in Kanaya.
Since she told us she used to play nearby as a kid we can imagine the age of the edifice!
A very sturdy and well-maintained kura still used as a shed!
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