List of partitions of traditional Japanese architecture

Traditional Japanese architecture uses post-and-lintel structures; vertical posts, connected by horizontal beams (rafters were traditionally the only structural member that was neither horizontal nor vertical). The rest of the structure is non-load-bearing.[1][2] While fixed walls are used, a variety of movable partitions are also used to fill the spaces between the pillars, and their type, number, and position adjusted according to the weather without and the activities within.[3] Similar and identical screens and curtains were used to divide the interior space.[4] These may be free-standing, hung from lintels,[5] or, later, sliding panels which could readily be removed from their grooves.[6]

The timbers are called hashira,[2] the space between them hashira-ma; thus the items filling the hashira-ma are termed hashira-ma equipment.[3]

HangingEdit

Type Photo Description Construction History
Sudare (簾) (and misu, fancy cloth-framed sudare) Stems woven into a sheet, sometimes edged with cloth for durability Phragmites reed, cat-tail stalks, pampas grass, or fine bamboo, held together by a few rows of thread woven around the stems; may be used as a blind, or mounted on a wooden frame to make sudare-shōji.[7][8] Used throughout recorded history, still in use.
Noren (暖簾) A walk-through curtain Cloth with vertical slits, cord (shown), or cords strung with beads of bamboo or other materials. Have been associated with urban shop entrances since the late Kamakura period (early 1300s).[9] Still in common use in 21st century, especially at shop entrances and kitchen doors
Kabeshiro (壁代, lit. wall-curtain) Lintel-mounted curtain, with ties Made of narrow-loom tanmono cloth. Similar to a kichō, which however is free-standing. Coloured streamers are called nosuji (野筋), and are ties for tying it up.[10] Archaic
Zejyō (軟障) Tab-top flat-panel curtains Made from narrow-loom tanmono cloth. May be illustrated or plain, often with strips in contrasting colours (note that in the image, only the interior ones are illustrated). Used in Heian period. Still used on special occasions, such as the red-and-white zejyo used at festivals.
Jinmaku (陣幕; lit. "Military encampment curtain") Similar to zejyō, but used as a defensive perimeter around a military encampment Tab-topped curtain hung on lines, often between posts in a field. Sengoku and Edo periods. Obsolete.
Shitomi (蔀, including hajitomi, 半蔀) Heavy wood-lattice shutters Usually horizontally split and hinged (hajitomi), but were occasionally vertically split and hinged.[11] When open, the upper half is held horizontal by hooks, and the lower half is either folded flat against the underside of the upper half and held by hooks, or removed and carried away. Part of Shinden style.[5] Obsolescent with advent of sliding doors, ~Kamakura period.

Free-standingEdit

Type Photo Description Construction History
Tsuitate (衝立) A free-standing single-panel partition.[12] Wood, or wood frame covered with cloth or paper, often painted. Feet may be integral, or a separate stand into which a fusuma-like panel can be slotted.[13] Shown is a konmeichi (昆明池) panel, 6 shaku/181.8 cm tall; most are shorter seated-height panels.[14] Dates from the 600s or earlier. One of the oldest types of screen. Still in use.
Byōbu (屏風; lit., "windbreak") A free-standing folding screen. Paper on frame. In Japan, these are rarely left plain; they are usually painted.[15]
Kichō (几帳) T-shaped stand with curtain, with ties Made from parallel lengths of narrow-loom cloth (tanmono). Used in Heian Japan;[16] all but obsolete by the Edo Period[13]
Chōdai (帳台) Boxlike baldachin Box of curtains hung from corner poles, free-standing Thought to date from 400s. Used throughout the Heian Period (794-1185) and, by the high aristocracy, into the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Towards the end of the Heian it shifted location, and finally became synonymous with an enclosed sleeping room. Characteristic of Shinden style residences.[17] Archaic, except in ceremonial Imperial use.

Sliding (hiki-do)Edit

Type Photo Description Construction History
Fusuma (襖) Opaque lightweight panels, latterly sliding.[15] Wooden frame covered in opaque paper or cloth, modernly also vinyl. May be painted or printed. Originated in 600s; made sliding in late Heian period (1100s). In common use in the 21st century.
Shōji (障子) Translucent panels, usually sliding.[15][18] Wooden frame covered in translucent washi paper or cloth, modernly also plastics and nonwoven fabrics. Similar to fusuma
Ama-do (雨戸, lit. "rain-door")

See Sukiya style and shoji articles for details.

Storm shutters used to close the building at night. Unperforated wooden or metallic panels, usually sliding. Run in a groove outside the pillars, and usually outside the engawa (porch). Stacked in a to-bukuro when not in use. 1600s-present
Garasu-do (wiktionary:, lit. "glass door")

See shoji article for limited details.

Glass panels Mullioned or single-pane. Often found as sliding doors in two grooves outside the engawa (porch), but inside the ama-do. Also used in interiors. 1800s-~1960 plate glass, ~1960-present with float glass
Maira-do (舞良戸) Plank-and-batten wooden doors Battens (mairako;;) may be set crosswise to planks, may cover joins, or may act as a frame into which the planks are set, appearing on both sides.[19][20] Popular 1100s-1600s
To-fusuma (戸襖, including sugi-do, 杉戸) Solid wooden sliding doors Sugi-do made of sugi, and flat. Much heavier than frame doors such as fusuma.
Kōshi

(see Shōji#Frame)

Barred or latticed openwork panels May be fixed, sliding, or hinged. Modernly, may be backed with glass. The rails are often grouped in clusters; this clustering is called fukiyose (吹寄).[21] A wide variety of traditional patterns exist.

Fixed (walls)Edit

Type Photo Description Construction History
Lath-and-plaster
(see also bamboo-mud wall)
Plaster applied over a lattice of wood or bamboo in a half-timbered wall. Usually multi-layer. Plastered walls were frequently papered to protect clothes. Also used in fireproof kuro. Both mud plaster (often with straw)[22] and lime plaster with fibers and funori glue (shikkui, often used as a topcoat and on floors).[23] The structural timbers of the wall are usually left exposed, but may be covered (oo-kabe),[24][25] or deeply covered to provide fire protection, as in kura storehouses.[26] Antiquity to 20th century; rare in 21st, stucco aside.
Ajiro (wicker) Multistrand wicker twill Often used as a decorative covering in the 21st century
Thatch walls Vertical thatching Insulates; historically common in colder areas. Used on historic properties
Tate-ita Board-and-batten wall Vertical boards, the seams covered with thinner laths called battens.[1][27]
Shitami-ita Battened clapboard wall[1][28] Clapboarding with notched vertical battens over the boards.
Bark-and-batten wall (Japanese term?) Bark-and-batten wall Vertical sheets of bark, held down with horizontal battens; used as a stand-alone wall or as a decorative facing.[1] Used on poorer houses in the south of Japan in the 1880s.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Morse, Edward S. (1885). "1: The House". Japanese Homes and their Surroundings. Charles E. Tuttle Company. ISBN 0-8048-0998-4.
  2. ^ a b "hashira 柱". www.aisf.or.jp. JAANUS.
  3. ^ a b Norihito Nakatani (Producing & Editing), Kenji Seo (Still Photography & Direction), Mayuka Toyoshima (Text), Haruya Susa, Mayuka Toyoshima, and Yohei Jimbo (Drawings), Kazuyuki Okada (web editing) (October 28, 2015). Transition of Kikugetsutei (Movie and illustrated text article, both available open-access online). Cultural Magazine of Hashirama Equipment. Study on Hashirama-Sochi; Equipment In Between. Waseda University.
  4. ^ Formal Audience Hall (Shoin). Interview with Matthew Welch, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art
  5. ^ a b "Shinden-zukuri 寝殿造". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  6. ^ "Fusuma 襖". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  7. ^ "Akari shouji". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  8. ^ "Natsushouji". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  9. ^ "JAANUS / noren 暖簾". www.aisf.or.jp.
  10. ^ "JAANUS / kabeshiro 壁代". www.aisf.or.jp.
  11. ^ "Shitomido 蔀戸". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  12. ^ "Tsuitate shouji". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  13. ^ a b Morse, Edward S. (1885). "3: Interiors". Japanese Homes and their Surroundings. Charles E. Tuttle Company. ISBN 0-8048-0998-4.
  14. ^ "Konmeichi-no-shouji 昆明池障子". aisf.or.jp. JAANUS.
  15. ^ a b c Larson, Brooke. "What are Shōji? Complete Guide to Japanese Paper Screens". Japan Objects.
  16. ^ "JAANUS / kichoumen 几帳面". www.aisf.or.jp.
  17. ^ "choudai 帳台". www.aisf.or.jp. JAANUS.
  18. ^ "Akari shouji". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  19. ^ "mairado 舞良戸". JAANUS Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  20. ^ "mairako 舞良子". JAANUS Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  21. ^ "Koshidaka shouji". JAANUS -- the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
  22. ^ "tsuchikabe 土壁".
  23. ^ "shikkui 漆喰". JAANUS.
  24. ^ "JAANUS / ookabe 大壁". www.aisf.or.jp.
  25. ^ "Ookabe-zukuri 大壁造".
  26. ^ "dozou-zukuri 土蔵造".
  27. ^ "JAANUS / tate-itakabe  竪板壁". www.aisf.or.jp.
  28. ^ "JAANUS / shitami 下見". www.aisf.or.jp.