Unformatted text preview: tatami) was increasingly used to cover floors entirely, and
walls and sliding doors formed the sidings of all rooms. The sliding doors
of this age were of two types: the traditional fusuma and the newer, lighter
shòji, which consisted of latticelike wooden frameworks with translucent
rice paper pasted on one side.
Derived from the study chambers built for priests in Zen temples, the
shoin room became the prototype for the main living room of the modern
Japanese house. In addition to wall-to-wall tatami, fusuma, and shòji, the
shoin room came to have the following installed features: a floor-level writing desk built into one wall (called a shoin desk); asymmetrical overhanging shelves (chigaidana); and a tokonoma or alcove (fig. 34).
The tea room, as a variant of the shoin room, evolved primarily in the
sixteenth century. All tea rooms featured alcoves for the display of hanging scrolls and flower arrangements, but some lacked the shoin desk, the
asymmetrical shelves, or both. Tea rooms also usually had special features, such as small, sunken hearths for teakettles, to be used in chanoyu;
and from the end of the sixteenth century, as we will see in the next
chapter, many tea rooms were constructed with nijiriguchi or “crawling
in” entrance ways.
Chanoyu, as it reached its first important stage of development in the 128 The Canons of Medieval Taste Fig. 35 Shigaraki-ware water container for the tea ceremony,
early Edo period (Honolulu Academy of Arts, Gift of Robert Allerton, 1964 [3311.1] ) Higashiyama epoch of the late fifteenth century, was performed in a shoin
room of ample size–perhaps six to eight tatami mats or larger—and employed only imported “Chinese articles” (karamono), including kettles,
bowls, caddies, and water jars, for the preparation and serving of tea.
Before the commencement of a tea ceremony, all these articles (except
the kettle, if the charcoal fire had already been prepared in it) were placed
on the shelves of a Chinese-style black lacquered stand called daisu. In
the alcove, the host typically displayed a Chinese painting and perhaps a
But even as this style of tea ceremony took shape in the Higashiyama
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.
- Spring '13