| ||Built in 1999 at Kizu, south of Kyoto, this 129-foot-high water tower (47 meters) holds enough water to supply 16,000 people. The cylindrical design draws its inspiration from bamboo, which is extremely common in the region. This type of giant grass, on which dinosaurs grazed 200 million years ago, can grow to a height of about 110 feet (40 meters) with a diameter of about 2 feet (60 centimeters), and numbers 1,250 species. It grows so rapidly (between 3 inches and 16 inches (75 mm and 400 mm) per day, with the record held by a native Japanese species which grows 1.2 meters in a day) that it can be harvested every two years. A single clump of bamboo can produce more than more than 9 miles (15 kilometers) of woody stems in thirty-ﬁve years of harvests. It has more than 1,500 different uses, ranging from construction (scaffolding, buildings, bridges), to the home (furniture, utensils), food (young shoots), and medicine. Its roots bind the soil together, protecting it from erosion, and research is being conducted into ways of replacing conventional wood sources with bamboo plantations. These could help curb the overexploitation of tropical forests in developing countries.
Visit the YAB Gallery for books and signed prints