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Japanese architecture, the built structures of Japan and their context. A pervasive characteristic of Japanese architecture—and, indeed, of all the visual arts of Japan—is an understanding of the natural world as a source of spiritual insight and an instructive mirror of human emotion.
5. Riichi Mahjong
Despite resembling a single-player memory game you'll find on some computers, mahjong is actually a tile-based game that's structurally similar to the card game rummy. The goal is to create sets by drawing and discarding tiles, with the ultimate objective of getting all 14 of your tiles matched into sets. The sets could be a matching three, matching four, or a sequential run of three, with a standard winning hand composed of four sets and a single pair—though there are also a few special winning hands that stand as exceptions.
The Japanese version, called Riichi Mahjong, or simply Japanese mahjong, is a slightly simplified version of Chinese mahjong, which was first introduced to Japan in 1924—though new rules have since been added to increase the complexity. The main differences are in the rules for declaring riichi, or a ready hand, and bonus dora tiles that can add value to your hand. It gets rather complicated once you start getting into the values of the different hands, but for a full run-down, check the rules below.
9 Most Notable Styles Of Japanese Ceramics
Each of the 47 prefectures in Japan produces its own ceramic ware with unique aesthetics.
Japanese ceramics refer to pottery crafts made of clay, as well as kaolinite-made porcelain wares, which appear whiter and finer with higher degrees of density and hardness. Each of the 47 prefectures in Japan produces ceramics using locally available materials. For this reason, Japanese ceramics are named according to their places of origin including Karatsu ware, Mino ware and Imari ware.
The three most famous varieties: Imari ware (or Arita ware) from Saga Prefecture, Mino ware from Gifu Prefecture and Seto ware from Aichi Prefecture are the perfect starting points to understanding the art of Japanese ceramics.
1) Arita ware, Saga Prefecture
Dating back to the 16th century, Arita porcelain has a global reputation for its quality. Its birthplace is also where ceramic clay was first discovered in Japan. Because Arita ware is made in the city of Arita before exported through the port in Imari, it is also called Imari ware. Deeply influenced by the blue and white pottery produced in Jingdezhen, China, early Arita wares are mostly painted in blue on white background. It’s greatly admired by Japanese people for its light, purely white body.
2) Seto ware, Aichi Prefecture
Boasting 1,000 years of history, Seto ware dates back even further than its Arita counterpart, and is seen as one of the six ancient kilns in Japan. When other regions were still producing unglazed items, the Seto ceramists had already adopted glazing in creating more sturdy earthenware. During the Meiji period, local ceramists learnt the technique of blue and white pottery from Arita, which in turn became the dominant style of Seto ware.
3) Mino ware, Gifu Prefecture
Mino ware comes from several Gifu cities close to Seto, such as Tajiki and Toki. It’s currently the most productive area in Japan when it comes to ceramics. Aside from the rich reserves of clay, the migration of the talented Seto ware makers to Mino to evade the ravaging wars is another reason for the coming to prominence of the pottery there. Mino ware was even developed into one of the cultural icons of the Momoyama period.
Setoguro (black Seto ware), Kiseto (yellow Seto ware), Shino ware and Oribe ware are a few of the fifteen most representative Seto ware branches. The dark colour of Setoguro is achieved by removing the iron-glazed pottery from the kiln when it’s red hot. The sharp drop of temperature causes the surface to blacken. Shino ware is made from the local clay of Mino (mogusatsuchi) and a thick layer of feldspathic glaze (chousekiyuu). Through a slow firing and cooling process, an immense number of small pinholes appear on the resulting white pottery — a style representative of early Japanese white ceramics.
Ancient Japanese Tile - History
Domino Manufacture & Materials
D ominoes have been manufactured from many different materials throughout their long history. Learn about the different methods and robust, hard substances used in the manufacture of dominoes from their beginnings to the present day.
Here is a list of domino manufacturing materials and a description of their history, starting with the earliest used from the inception of dominoes through to the latest modern materials and methods used today.
The first Chinese dominoes made in the 12th-century were hand carved from animal bone, typically ox bones, and are called "Gwat Pai" ( 骨牌 meaning "bone tiles") in the North of China or "Goo Pai" in the more widespread Mandarin dialect. Some Chinese domino sets, made for the wealthier and more discerning gamer, were made from Ivory and are known as "Ngaa Pai" ( 牙牌 meaning "ivory tiles") in the North or "Ya Pai" in Mandarin.
The first Western dominoes that appeared in Europe during the 18th-century were originally made from animal bones (and, again, sometimes ivory for wealthier players), hence the slang term for domino pieces: "bones." The black spots were made by drilling shallow holes into the bone that were then inlaid with pieces of thin ebony.
The first dominoes that appeared in the UK were made by French prisoners-of-war who would make them from sheep and cow bones left over from their rations, and then sell them to supplement their pitiful allowances.
Later, other sets were made by sailors to pass the time while on long voyages.
So-called "vegetable ivory", made from the Tagua Nut, known as the "ivory nut", has been used for over two-hundred years by craftsmen to make dice, dominoes, and chess pieces. The "ivory nut" is close-grained and very hard, and its structure, colour, and grain is similar to that of mammal ivory, though slightly softer.
By the mid 19th-century, European dominoes were still commonly manufactured from slim narrow pieces of bone, but now with an ebony wood back which was glued and then fixed to the bone with a brass pin (known as a spinner) through the centre of the tile. This development was probably due to a lack of suitable thick pieces of animal bone, requiring the ebony layer to strengthen the tile, which made it possible to stand dominoes on their edges.
The first plastic called Bois Durci was invented in 1855 by the Frenchman Charles Lepage. He made a particular point of recommending it for the manufacture of dominoes, chessmen, etcy. Bois Durci was made from ebony or rosewood sawdust mixed with albumen taken from eggs or even blood. The sawdust was mixed and soaked in a mixture of the albumen and water, then dried and subjected to intense heat and pressure in a hydraulic press.
In 1856 came the invention of the next manmade plastic material, first called Parkesine and now known as Xylonite or Celluloid. It was originally manufactured by a company called Parkes in Birmingham and was used to make dominoes for a while, but didn't last, probably due to the fact it was highly inflammable..
In the late 19th-century cheap dominoes were commercially made from tinplate and distributed to pubs and Inns by tobacco companies either for free of for a very small fee.
In the early 20th-century a form of plastic called Bakelite was invented and used to manufacture a huge range of products including dominoes. This synthetic material was invented in 1917 by L H Bakeland who developed the process of condensing phenols and formaldehyde that produced a hard resiliant type of plastic that could be easily moulded into everyday products. Bakelite goods ceased being manufactured around the mid-1950s.
By the later part of the 20th-century modern plastic manufactured from petroleum was used for the mass manufacture of dominoes that has continued to this day..
Later 20th-Century to this Day
Today, dominoes are made from cheap materials such as cheap wood, common plastic, and sometimes even aluminium. There are also dominoes made from thick paper-card, like ordinary playing cards. Many cheap wooden dominoes aren't made from expensive ebony but of any available common wood stained black, often with a pattern or design pressed into their backs
Modern Chinese dominoes are made of cheap shiny black plastic.
Wood may not be the materials for dominoes, but nothing beats sturdy wooden wine racks for wine storage.
The earliest evidence for the processing of color pigments for ritual or artistic comes from the early modern human site of Blombos cave in South Africa. Blombos is a Howiesons Poort/Stillbay occupation, and one of the middle Stone Age sites in South Africa that include evidence of early modern behaviors. the residents of Blombos mixed and prepared a red pigment made of crushed red ocher and animal bone.
Flowers are an optional suit. This set of eight tiles features pictures of flowers plus a number ranging from one to four. How the flower suit is played varies by region. The flowers could be used like the Joker in card games or as a wild card to complete tile combinations. Flowers can also help players earn extra points.
The eight flower tiles include four tiles representing the four seasons: winter (冬天, dōngtiān), spring (春天, chūntiān), summer (夏天, xiàtiān), and fall (秋天, qiūtiān).
The remaining flower tiles represent the four Confucian plants: bamboo (竹, zhú), chrysanthemum (菊花, júhuā), orchid (蘭花, lánhuā), and plum (梅, méi).
There is only one set of flower tiles.
Though household closets have been around in some form for centuries, what we think of as the place where we store our clothes is a more recent innovation. In fact, when visiting (or living in) older American homes or apartments, you’ve probably noticed (and bemoaned) the lack of closet space. That’s because, up until the beginning of the 20th century, most clothing and related items were kept in stand-alone furniture. “It used to be that almost everything was [kept] in armoires,” Lloyd Alter, a former architect and design historian who now teaches sustainable design at Ryerson School of Interior Design, tells Clever. “When you look at the plans from the turn of the century, the closets are tiny, tiny, tiny—if they exist at all.” The switch to closets was to make rooms easier to clean. Bulky furniture items like armoires were difficult to move and therefore collected dust, which was thought to pass along germs. By the mid-1920s, Le Corbusier was writing about the importance of minimalism, cleanliness, and hygiene in home design, advocating for built-ins throughout the house, which eventually became the norm.
Taksim Square was the scene of large-scale protests in 2013. Credit: Fleshstorm / Commons
The Turkish presidential palace, national assembly and ministerial buildings may all be located in Ankara, but, as the country’s largest city, Istanbul is certainly not immune to political activity. Taksim Square has played a central role in this activity, providing the setting for numerous demonstrations through Turkey’s years of independence.
Most recently, the square became synonymous with the so-called “Gezi Park protests” of 2013. These protests began in opposition to the demolition and redevelopment of Gezi Park, located next to the square, but evolved into protests that criticised the government for a variety of reasons, including grievances from those across the political spectrum.