Photos: Raze, Rebuild, Repeat: Why Japan Knocks Down its Houses After 30 Years


Publication:
Date: 
November 16, 2017
Unlike in other countries, Japanese homes become valueless over time – but as the population shrinks, can its cities finally learn to slow down and refurb?

Mitsuhiro Tokuda in the backyard of a traditional home in Kitakyushu – now converted into a cafe
Mitsuhiro Tokuda, a professor of architecture at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, in the backyard of a traditional home in Kitakyushu – now converted into a cafe.

Models displaying the floorplans of a pre- and post-renovation home built by the housing manufacturer Sekisui House, at their showroom facilities north of Tokyo, Japan.
Models displaying the floorplans of a pre- and post-renovation home built by the housing manufacturer Sekisui House, at their showroom facilities north of Tokyo, Japan.

One of many vacant 1960s-era prefab buildings in the older part of Midorigaoka
One of many vacant 1960s-era prefab buildings in the older part of Midorigaoka, a suburb outside of Kobe.

A typical prefab home in Midorigaoka, Japan, built by Daiwa House.
A typical prefab home in Midorigaoka, Japan, built by Daiwa House.

A prefabricated Daiwa house in Midorigaoka undergoing renovation.
A prefabricated Daiwa house in Midorigaoka undergoing renovation.

© Nate Berg