roof tile; gram
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Architecture buffs: don't miss this one! As the fantastic photos show, old Japanese buildings often feature striking roofs with alternating ridges and valleys of semi-cylindrical tiles, as well as elaborate decorative caps and unusual rooftop figurines. By studying 瓦 (a new Joyo kanji), you’ll learn to talk about all this and so much more! You'll find out about the unexpected glamor of bricks in the Meiji era, 瓦 in words about metaphorical collapses, and this shape as a radical in several fascinating kanji.
August 24, 2012: Added two pictures to page 17. One photo caption describes types of sweets in the shape of roof tiles!
April 30, 2012: Added two pictures of 鬼瓦 (おにがわら: ridge-end tile with the figure of a devil or gargoyle).