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Unformatted text preview: ogunal collection, by this time the largest single accumulation of Chinese treasures in Japan. The companions were artistically talented and
discriminating men who were on very intimate terms with the shogun
and who were entrusted with the general conduct of his cultural affairs.
They included the “three ami”36 (Nòami, 1397–1471; his son Geiami,
1431–85; and the latter’s son Sòami, d. 1525); and in tasks such as the
cataloging of the shogunal art collection, which was done chiefly by
Nòami and Geiami, these men set the standards for subsequent art connoisseurship in Japan.
Chanoyu evolved during the fifteenth century. We cannot trace with
historical accuracy each stage in this evolution, but we can hypothesize
that the first was the adoption of rules for the preparation, serving, and
consumption of tea and that the second was the creation of a setting—
the tea room (chashitsu)—in which people gathered for tea. In the beginning, tea was prepared in a separate kitchen or outside corridor and then
brought into the tea room. By subsequently moving the entire process of
preparation, serving, and consumption of tea into a single room, the fifteenth-century creators of chanoyu established a microcosmic, self-contained “world of tea.”
The tea room (chashitsu) was an offshoot of a new style of room—the
shoin room—that appeared during the fifteenth century. The rooms of
the earlier shinden mansions of the Heian courtiers had been little more
than spaces enclosed by walls, sliding doors ( fusuma), and folding screens
and other removable partitions. Their floors were of bare wood, and most
rooms had no built-in features and little furniture. People sat on mats The Canons of Medieval Taste 127 Fig. 34 Shoin-style of interior architecture: at the right end of the far wall is the
writing desk; to the left of it are the asymmetrical overhanging shelves (chigaidana); the floor is covered with tatami matting, and fusuma and shòji sliding
doors can be seen in the left and right walls (drawing by Arthur Fleisher) placed on the floors as needed. During the medieval age, standardized
rush matting (...
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- Spring '13