Building codes in Japan have been updated from time to time to address earthquake risks. Many buildings built before the current codes can be seen with what I consider to be aesthetically-appealing cross-braces, which is a form of seismic retrofit 耐震補強. Here are some examples:
Before-and after of a danchi apartment tower:
Clothes hanging to dry on a balcony of a danchi near Nakano-Shimbashi:
I will add some visuals to this post when I get a chance, but must mention this: at the Kobe earthquake museum they have a “shake table” that demonstrates earthquakes on a scale model of a simple 3-story structure. There are three options”
- without cross-braces
- with cross-braces
- with cross-braces and roller-stabilizers.
Building #1 collapsed with minimal shaking. Building #2, which had just one cross-brace, held up significantly longer.