A Simple “What am I?” Quiz with a “Why am I?” Addendum
desktop background image of garden detail at the Seifuso Villa (清風荘), Kyoto Japan -- What (and Why) am I? Seifuso Villa (清風荘), Kyoto Japan -- Seifuso (清風荘) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
What (and Why) am I?
Seifuso Villa (清風荘), Kyoto Japan
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It's been a while (almost a year!) since my last What am I? Quiz... I'll have to do better.

Today's What am I? quiz is fairly simple (it's clearly wood), so today I add a Why?. Why is the What above what it is?

The photo is from an amazing day today at the Seifuso Villa (清風荘) near Kyoto University. The subject of the photo is something one sometimes sees to a small extent at temples; what I saw today was by far the best example of (whatever it is) I've ever seen.

(As usual, I'll hold all comments back in blog moderation for few days, until I make them all public and give the answer.)

Answered here...


All 11 comments so far, oldest first...

Charcoal, charcoal for tea ceremony too, I believe.

— comment by An Expat on November 22nd, 2013 at 10:57pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Wood (check); burnt/charcoal (check); vertical placement (photographer above) (check);

Water filtration system.

— comment by Andy on November 23rd, 2013 at 1:54am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Is it the end of charred branches of cedar, making up the roof of a house, and then covered in moss? The charred cedar being an technique that seals against rain and rot thus lengthening the lifespan of the roof supports.

— comment by Ed Lloyd Owen on November 23rd, 2013 at 4:17am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Charcoal, right?

— comment by Zak on November 23rd, 2013 at 8:54am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I think its wood charcoal. It looks like the stuff from a charcoal burner in a museum village here.

— comment by Heiko on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:14am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Cut-off burn tree stumps, aged.

— comment by Wei Chong on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:36am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Stacked logs, perhaps charred.

— comment by Liam on November 23rd, 2013 at 1:27pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Torches?

— comment by Gianluca on November 24th, 2013 at 7:19pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Looks like branches on a thatched roof. There’s moss around there.

I’m from NYC btw.

— comment by Alvin on November 25th, 2013 at 5:14am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Yakisugi or shou-sugi-ban? Cypress wood burnt for decorative purposes… although it looks a bit like a bridge or a pathway, seen from above.

Greetings from São Paulo

— comment by chris on November 25th, 2013 at 8:05am JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

The answer is given on this post.

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on November 28th, 2013 at 5:15pm JST (3 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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