by Ewa Nowogorski
Something that is not so common in the states are metal sliding shutters on windows in homes. Japan has plenty of them though. Shutters are hideous in my opinion and make a really loud noise when they are being slid open or closed, and metal is the worst temperature insulator in existence so for a long time I could not understand why someone thought it was a good idea to put them on already poorly insulated homes with no sound proofing, but people will argue their uses.
Sometimes, a home needs protection. Do you want indestructible glass? That’s expensive and not worth putting on affordable homes. Metal bars? Well, home will look more like prison. The compromise is metal shutters, which offer a little bit of protection for homeowners. And not only against intruders, but also against storms. And Japan has lots of those, so these shutters may just save your windows in a pinch. I’ve heard people say that they use them during the winter months to keep the warmth of the home trapped but…. I don’t think that’s how it works. Japanese homes are notorious for having poor insulation, and metal is a bad choice for insulation.
If there is one further positive use of shutters, it’s that they give you privacy. They completely block the view inside your home, way better than a cloth curtain could. So albeit a completely unaesthetic choice, it does give you the piece of mind that no one can pry into your room as you sleep. Of course, I’d rather use curtains.