Great Fire and Townscape
-Townscape at Traditional Architectures Preservation District-
相羽康郎 Yasuo AIBA
About half of Traditional architectures preservation districts
were suffered great fire after middle of 18c. The rate
of the townscape featured by traditional fire protecting
building named “kura” at suffered districts is larger than
those safe from the fire, but not different between suffering
age of Edo and Meiji era which suggests condition
remains the same in both era or kura at former district
was built in Meiji era.
Kawagoe famous for the kura townscape suffered
great fire in 1893 was built after Nihonbashi where fire
protection belt was realized at the first time proclaimed in
1881. The kura districts were limited compared with the
fire areas such as in Takaoka. Realization depend upon
the richness along the street.
Great fires give an opportunity to reconstruct modern
city especially in Tokyo and Osaka.
The houses and townscape after great fire in Meiji era
have changed a lot from those of wooden traditional to
plain and square shape houses covered with mortal or
metals, but also traditional type exists diversely.
Town Building Law enacted in 1919 rules buildings
in a same way in all prefectures. The ordinance of fire
protecting structures and materials had possibility to
affect the traditional townscape. But the regulation itself
had not caused the change. The destruction of traditional
townscape was occurred by the luck of the concepts of
planning also execution of townscape design.