Amazing Technology of Old: Large Wooden Gear
— map & image data — nearby photos Wooden Teeth but not the kind George Washington had -- Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Wooden Teeth
but not the kind George Washington had

My post earlier this week about our weekend trip to Kibune with Thomas ended with us eating dango at one of the many roadside restaurants. In the background of the final photo on that post, you can see a big gear, perhaps four feet across. It's a big, clearly very old wooden gear.

— map & image data — nearby photos Wooden Gear (and some lady's horrendously ugly purse) -- Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Wooden Gear
(and some lady's horrendously ugly purse)

Even the pegs used to hold the pieces together, and the tapered pins used to hold the pegs in tightly are wood. It's amazing.

— map & image data — nearby photos Tapered Wooden Pin Holding Fast a Wooden Peg -- Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 — 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Tapered Wooden Pin Holding Fast a Wooden Peg

It was a dark, overcast day of intermittent rain, and an hour before sunset deep in the narrow valley that is Kibune, so ambient-light photography would have been impossible without the D700's amazing low-light prowess. When I got home, I was shocked how well these images turned out.

— map & image data — nearby photos -- Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos

I asked about the gear at the restaurant where it's now being used as decoration, and they had no clue. I shouldn't have been surprised, seeing as they had the two huge stone wheels of an old rice mill (similar to this small coffee mill) set up upside-down as some kind of birdbath/fountain. I explained to them what it was, and they nodded vacantly. I guess they just aren't geeky enough to appreciate old technology like I do. 🙂

As a bonus, here's a shot of the kusaridoi (鎖樋) “rain chain” hanging from the edge of the gutter. When it rains, water flows from the gutter down the set of chained cups, creating somewhat of a waterfall effect.

— map & image data — nearby photos Kusaridoi Decorative Chain-of-Cups Downspout -- Kibune -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Kusaridoi Decorative Chain-of-Cups Downspout

These are fairly common to see around town... especially temples and shrines, but often enough in a private residence or business as well. They're pricy, though: I found a place selling some for about $600 for a nine-foot length.

Yet, as common as they are, no one seems to know what they're called. I have a horrible memory for language (and for many things, as my wife will attest), so often find myself asking around what these are called. I've yet to find someone who knows, so every time I really want to know, I have to look it up.

Kusaridoi. Maybe I'll remember this time.

Continued here...


All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

kusaridoi

I wonder why the cups are such a complex shape inside? Now we need you to go out in a rain storm to show them in action! In the UK I’ve seen simple chains used for the same purpose, but they are less decorative and also pretty useless in windy weather, when the descending water blows everywhere off them.

The gear wheel, I suppose, may be associated with the mill-stones – I believe that wooden gears used to be used in flour mills in Europe to reduce the risk of sparks igniting the airborne dust (i.e. compared to using iron gears). This wheel’s construction is pretty special, and makes for some fascinating photographs. Interesting that the central double-cross pieces are not square to the rest.

Peter

— comment by Peter on November 13th, 2008 at 11:26pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Here in America One can often find them in catalogs and they are called “Rain Chains” But they aren’t nearly as expensive as your quote, though not as inexpensive as regular downspouts either. I’ve often thought of getting a couple for our place.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 13th, 2008 at 11:59pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

The bag is indeed hideous. Question is, what is it doing there.

It’s my camera bag. Arrrgh, no, that was in a nightmare. The lady had stepped up momentarily to get some tea, or something. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bob on November 14th, 2008 at 1:05am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Dang, that is one ugly purse.

— comment by Zak on November 14th, 2008 at 7:27am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Rain chains are expensive because they’re made of Nikon lens hoods.

Hahahaha, that’s funny! (For those who can’t visualize this, see herre)

I do wish you would stop posting these terrific ISO6400 photos…every time i look at them i can see my cash disappearing into a D700+lenses fund.

My most sincere apologies 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Andrew S on November 17th, 2008 at 6:26pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

We ate yudofu there on Wednesday, pictures to come. We had eaten there about 8 years ago but it was a cheaper noodle place then.

— comment by nils on November 28th, 2008 at 11:39pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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