I found some very old pictures of my apartment from the first 5 or so years that my husband and I lived there and noticed that we started out covering our windows with sudare, or rattan blinds. These blinds are cheap, easy to install and protect against both sun and heat. Just looking at them makes me feel a bit cooler for some reason. I'm sure that they are used in many Asian cultures, but I always associate them with "old world" Japan. That is, a time before Western drapery or blinds entered the picture and people sheltered from the sun with these durable, light, and natural coverings.
I will miss seeing sudare and the way they make me think of traditional Japanese culture.