karasutobi 烏鳶
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms, folk dwellings
Also written 烏飛び.

1 A set of fire fighting equipment installed on the roof ridge of an urban building in the early modern period. In the case of townhouses *machiya 町家, it was usually located on the ridge of the main roof, while in temples or daimyou residences, daimyou yashiki 大名屋敷, it was often placed on the roofs of surrounding row houses *nagaya 長屋. The set consisted of a wooden bucket kept full of water, mizuoke 水桶, and a beater, hitataki 火叩き, in the form of a broom, nurehouki 濡れ箒, which was used to beat out flames after dipping in the water. This kind of arrangement is said to have been used in the daimyou yashiki of Edo until about 1730. The system survives today in the temples of Mt. Kouya 高野 in Wakayama prefecture.

2 A range of elements used to decorate the ridge of the roof in thatched vernacular houses *minka 民家 of the Edo period, mainly in central and western Japan. It is recorded in parts of Hyougo, Okayama, Tokushima, Saga and Kumamoto prefectures. and generally refers to crossed timber members or to thick rolls of straw set astride the ridge at intervals to hold it down and, in the latter case, to cover seams in the mat of material encasing the ridge against rain. In Tokushima, it refers to a pole laid along the ridge and tied in place, so as to resemble the tail of a black kite, tobi 鳶. See also *suzumeodori 雀踊り, *karasuodori 烏踊り, *karasudomari 烏止まり, *chigi 千木.


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