The Types of Roof
Japanese houses have three main roof styles. Kiritsuma style, Yosemune style and Irimoya style. Most of the houses in Shirakawa-go is Kiritsuma style.
1. Compare to Yosemune and Irimoya style;
-Kiritsuma style has a large attic space.
-Kiritsuma style get more sunshine and air from Tsuma side.
-Kiritsuma style can use two-three layers (large floor space).
2. Since Shirakawago is in a steep mountainous area with heavy snow, it doesn’t have enogh flat space for houses. 3. People living in Shirakawago can save their energy for cleaning snow away. 4. Large space, sunshine, and good air circulation used to be required for silkworm industry and gun powder manufacture.
The Direction of the House
Do you know why the houses in Shirakawa-go are built to face the same direction?
The roofs face west and east to get sunlight as much as possible. This style helps melting snow and dry the roofs quickly in a winter to make them last longer.
The wind goes right through the houses since the seasonal wind blows along Sho-river. It also protects the houses from being knocked down by the strong wind. Moreover, the silk-worming was this area's main industry. Sunshine and wind are important factors to get them to grow