Friday, July 24, 2009


Here is the tetrapot at the Shizuoka coast as described in Chapter 7 of American Fuji. This is a favorite spot for college girls to set off fireworks.


Reckless said...

You know, I always thought the word was "tetrapod," meaning "four feet." Is that possible? Anyway, those things are cool, and I love sitting on them and listening to the sea skitter through them below me as I contemplate Japan's concrete coast.

Sara Backer said...

I believe it is tetrapot ending with T. An excerpt from Gavin McCormack:

Japanese construction investment amounts to 2.6 times, and in terms of unit of land area, a staggering 32 times that of the United States. Seeking an analogy to convey a sense of this, the Kyoto University economist, Sawa Takamitsu, described it in terms of the construction of 'pyramids', Egyptian-style, more- or-less useless but capable of absorbing resources on a vast scale, while others, like Aoki and Kawamiya of the Japan Entropy Society refer to contemporary Japan as a 'potlatch construction economy', from the American Indian term for a ceremonial festival at which gifts are bestowed on the guests and property destroyed in a competitive show of wealth. The reclamation of huge stretches of the country's coastline - proceeding during the 1980s at the rate of 100 kilometres per year, the dumping of giant 'tetrapot' concrete grenades around the remainder, and the straightening out and damming of rivers have been characteristic of 'public works'. --

Gavan McCormack, "From Number One to Number Nothing"