Paper thunderbolts attached to rope are used to purify a sacred tree

A City to Worship Nature

What Japan’s Holy City, Ise, can tell us about how to create environmentally sustainable cities

A floodplain in a suburb of Ise, the day after Typhoon Hagibis

Wood Rots Like We Do

“1,300 years ago Emperor Jito started the Sengu system, however the reason for that system is not clear… You need to pass on and maintain skills, including knowledge of natural materials. Communication and community is important for this system. So maybe they were aware of sustainability at that time, even if the word didn’t exist.” — Mayor Kenichi Suzuki, 2019

The empty shrine site at Gaiku, adjacent to the currently occupied shrine site; the sites swapping back and forth every 20 years
19th century warehouses made from earth with timber cladding, with removable fixings that allow the timber panels to be removed in case of fire

“wood ages and rots just like we do, and just as with the shrines which we rebuild every 20 years, it’s through this constant process of renewal that something lasts forever.” — Takeshi Nakatani, 2019

Takeshi Nakatani
A Shikinen Sengu ritual from the distant past

Artist and activist engaging with public space and the built environment, sustainability, heritage and technology.

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