Itado (wooden door) (板戸)
Itado is a kind of door made with panel. It is made with wooden panels mainly, but some Itado are made with glass, cloth, paper, and so on.
History of Itado
Wooden Doors in the Asuka and Nara periods
The oldest existing wooden architecture in Japan is considered to be Horyu-ji Temple in Nara, which is also called Ikaruga-dera Temple built by Prince Shotoku around 607. It's generally believed that the existing Garan of Saiin (West Precinct) in the Horyu-ji Temple (including kondo - main hall of a temple) was once destroyed by fire and rebuilt around the end of the 7th century, and the door in kondo of the Horyu-ji Temple is supposed to be the oldest existing door.
However, the inside of first layer was destroyed by fire at the time of renovation during the Showa period, and the door was restored as one door composed of two wooden panels. The original door was a solid timber of cypress 3 m high, about 1 m wide, and about 10 cm thick.
There are four doors in kondo-mokoshi (a pent roof, enclosure usually one bay deep, of the main hall of the temple) which was built later than kondo during the Nara period.
They are also made from solid timber, 2.7 m high, 1 m wide and about 8.5 cm thick, with kazari-kanagu (decorative metal fittings) of gilt bronze bai (a circular nail head cover placed over a nail to attach a non-penetrating tie beam to a pillar) on the under side and setting renjimado (a window with vertical or horizontal wooden laths or bamboo are lined up at given intervals) on the upper side. It is said that the nine renji (vertical or horizontal wooden laths or bamboo) of this renjimado were carved from a solid timber. A great amount of labor was spent to make the door.
The Kondo in Toshodai-ji Temple (founded in 759) founded by Jianzhen about 150 years after the construction of Horyu-ji Temple, is estimated to be built around the end of the 8th century after Jianzhen's death. The door of kondo of the Toshodai-ji Temple is made as an Itasando structure, which is a simple wooden door made of five narrow vertical planks nailed with the rear horizontal cross members. In order to hide the nail head on the surface of the door, the lacquered wooden decoration of manju-gata (style of bun with bean-jam filling) are attached and the kondo-hasso kanagu (literally, "gilt-bronzed twin eights metalwork") (a kind of fixing bracket for decoration and reinforcement) are attached in order to prevent deformation of the door as a whole.
Toin Denpodo of Horyu-ji Temple is a part of the existing house of Nara period.
The Denpodo was originally a part of the residence of Tachibana-fujin (Lady Tachibana), Emperor Shomu's mother-in-law, and was donated to Toin of Horyu-ji Temple, which was the remains of Ikaruga no miya of Prince Shotoku. It was partly reformed to a Buddhist temple, and its building structure except for the wooden floors, commonly seen in the architecture of temples in those days, was influenced strongly by Tang.
The former building of Denpodo was built in the style of tsuma-iri (entrance in the side of tsuma (the gable pediment or the gable side a building with a gable roof)), and its planar structure consisted of the main room of 5.4 m depth and 7.2 m wide surrendered by walls and doors, the open space of 3.6 m depth and 7.2 m wide, and the broad sunokojiki (a slatted floor or duckboard floor made of boards or bamboo laid parallel) leading to the open space. With only walls and doors dividing a room, its structure was built in the style of hiroma (a large room occupying the full cross section of a building) without any inside partition.
Although in Denpodo, foundation stones were used under the pillars, seldom seen in buildings of those days, and at Heijo-kyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Nara) in the Nara period a hottate bashira (an earth fast post) was adopted in the most of the buildings which had been succeeded since the Kofun period (tumulus period).
These buildings are of simple style before hisashi (eaves or aisles) was developed, which consisted of only moya (the core of a building with only post and roof) of 3.6 m wide in a simple style without hisashi.
According to those documents, it was five ken in depth and three ken wide and consisted of the main room surrounded by walls, renjimado and doors, and wooden floors on the both sides of the main room.
This Itadono of FUJIWARA no Toyonari was also built in the style of hiroma which had no inner partition. Basically it was built in accordance with the traditional construction method, but the door, renjimado and other items were made by techniques from the Asian Continent, especially China.
In other words, apparently there was no original technique to make a door aperture until that time.
Doors made were only the Chinese style commonly found in both in Denpodo and Itadono, and there was no inner partition, characteristic of architecture during the Nara period.
During the Nara period, such movable 'Shoji' (a generic term for partitions, that may slide, hang or remain stationary, that can divide the interior of a building into separate rooms) as a screen, bamboo blind and kicho (a curtained frame put up to screen royal personages or noble ladies from direct view of those around them), were used. The Shoji in a screen style was described in "Horyu-ji Engi narabini Shizaicho" (note of origin and materials of Horyu-ji Temple) produced in the Nara period as it was 2.12 meter high and 1.06 meter wide with a pasted purple twill weave on the face and a pasted hanada (light blue) fabric on the reverse side.
With a wooden lattice as a framework, silk cloth were set on both sides and put up on daikyaku (screen holder) in the shape of a screen. Generally, a screen which raised a light cedar board on a holder was mainstream.
The Doors in the Heian Period
Shinden-zukuri style (Architecture representative of a nobles' residence in the Heian period) and Doors
The typical residence of aristocracy in the Heian period was built in the Shinden-zukuri style.
There is no existing building of Shinden-zukuri now, but it is said that Shishinden (formal place for ceremonies in the Dairi, Emperor's private spaces) and Seiryoden (literally "Limpid Cool Hall," an imperial summer palace) in Kyoto Gosho (Old Imperial Palace) recreated the style in the latter part of the Heian period.
The layout of Shishinden, the state chamber of Heiankyu Dairi (the Emperor's residential compound in Heian-kyo (ancient capital in Kyoto)), consists of moya of 16.36 m wide in front with hisashi no ma in four directions, and the doors of the external partition are tsumado which is placed at the four corners of the enclosure and the center of kita-hisashi (room in the northern surrounding building) and a large Shitomido on bays which is opened by being pulled up inside during the daytime.
The term tsumado refers to a door, which originates from its role like a wife against a building.
The tsumado in Shishinden is made with a sophisticated technique, combining two boards and fixing them with spindly trapezoidal boards called hashibami horizontally on the upper and under sides instead of urazan (a crosspiece used to secure the back or upper side of a ceiling board).
The term Shitomido is a wooden door made with a board set between two lattices, and is opened by pushing up horizontally. As an inner partition, there is 'Kenjo no shoji' (sliding screens with paintings of thirty-two Chinese sages, which form the main wall behind the Shishinden (formal ceremonial hall) of the Kyoto Imperial Palace) at the border of moya and kita-hisashi, and moya and nishi-hisashi (room in the western surrounding building) are divided by a wall.
This Shoji was not Akari-shoji (a translucent screen or sliding door made by pasting single sheets of white Washi (Japanese paper) on light wooden frames, or sometimes on bamboo frames) as seen at present but a movable set-in board wall pasted silk cloth, which was set in as Shitsurai (room decorations) as the occasion might demand.
Since Kenjo sage was drawn on silk cloth, it came to be called 'Kenjo no shoji.'
Shishinden was the state chamber of Dai-dairi (place of the Imperial Palace and government offices) in Heian-kyo and a place held Choga (the national ceremony in which Emperor received New Year's congratulations from the whole body of officials) and public matters as well as imperial or state ceremonies held later.
Then, it is said that there was 'Shoji-to' (sliding paper door) in the three points of the central room and the east and east second rooms.
The other rooms were all divided by Shitomido, but there was no partition except that, which could be said to be in hiroma style.
The Seiryoden was a bedroom of the Emperor so it was subdivided, but its doors were the same as those of Shishinden with tsumado set on the side and Nurikome and Shitomido around. The term Nurikome refers to a room of plastered clay walls around and it was used for a storage room or a bed room.
In addition to this, 'Konmeichi no shoji ' was placed to prevent the view from higashi-magohisashi (a narrow additional aisle in the east side).
This Shoji had a screen drawn Konmeichi Pond which Han Wudi had ordered to dig for training the navy in the west of Chang'ancheng. In addition, the Nenjugyoji no shoji (Tsuitate shoji) drawn the regular annual ceremonies of four seasons was placed at the entrance of Tenjo no ma (anteroom for nobles).
Shoji' was a term for partition in past times. Sho' means to interrupt space and 'ji' is a suffix used for small things and tools.
It was a genetic term of screen, byobu (folding screen), bamboo blind, kicho or karado (a kind of hinged door), Mairado (a kind of wooden door) and Shitomido which were used for external partitions.
The Appearance of Fusuma Shoji (an opaque sliding screen made of a wooden frame and thick paper)
In Seiryoden there was a famous 'Araumi no shoji' (sliding screens on which various images are painted including araumi (a rough sea)). This Shoji on which a strange mysterious person in Chinese style was drawn by ink painting is considered to be a sliding screen or Fusuma Shoji rather than Tsuitate shoji.
In "Makura no Soshi" (The Pillow Book) there is a description; 'In north-east end of Seiryoden, there were shoji (translucent screens), which separates the north side, with pictures of the rough sea, living things looked frightening...'
In addition, in the "Hoketsu Kenmon Zusetsu" (Legal history book) in the Edo period, 'Araumi no shoji' was drawn as an apparent sliding screen of Fusuma shoji. On the back side of this Chinese painting are Yamato-e (classical Japan decorative paintings) of ajirogi (a pile for a woven or plaited wickerwork matting made of strips of bamboo sheathing, thin strips of cryptomeria, straight-grained cryptomeria, paulownia, ditch reed, or cypress bark) with maple leaves in Uji.
This is the oldest clear document of Fusuma Shoji (sliding door).
In "Ochikubo monogatari" (The Tale of Ochikubo) established in 979, there are descriptions such as 'When you open the shoji as a separators and go out, the closed mind is less than secure' and 'shoji as a separator is opened,' therefore, 'shoji as a separator' can be interrupted as Fusuma Shoji.
In "Kasenkashuhon Turayuki-shu" (Poetry Collection of Kasen (superior poets), KI no Tsurayuki's poetry collection) there was a spring waka (Japanese poem) in 936 as 'shoji to separate, as FUJIWARA no Nakahira, Udaijin (minister of the right), and his son live in the same place.'
This shows that the Shoji was used as a partition. It is more natural to think that this was a sliding Fusuma Shoji rather than a set-in wooden door type. According to this, apparently a sliding Fusuma shoji existed before 936.
In "Fusoryakuki" (private collection of histories) there is a description that in 888 Emperor Uda ordered KOSE no Kanaoka to draw the images of a great Confucianist who had left excellent poems after Konin era (810-823) on the Shoji in Imperial Palace.
Although the career of KOSE no Kanaoka was not clear, he was regarded as a master of painting and the founder of Yamato-e, and he drew Yamato-e on a folding screen at the request of FUJIWARA no Mototsune, a chief adviser to the Emperor at that time.
On the other hand, there was 'Kenjo no shoji ' on the border of moya and kita-hisashi in Shishinden as mentioned above.
The clear evidence of the existence of 'Kenjo no shoji ' is a description in the section of the year of 929 of "Nihongi Ryaku" (history book of six countries) as 'Shonaiki made ONO no Michikaze overdraw the image of Kenjo sage on the Shoji of Shishinden. In past years ONO no Michikaze wrote it.,' therefore, it could have existed before this.
Since it seemed to be rewritten because the pigment was deteriorated and faded over at least ten years, it must have been overdrawn in the Engi era (901-914).
Kenjo no shoji' was made with a set-in wooden panel with pasted silk cloth.
Each four Kenjo (sage) were drawn on each bay of 7.2 m of east and west, which were 32 Kenjo in total.
Then, it is said that there was 'Shoji-to' (sliding paper door) in the three points of the central room and the east and west second rooms.
This 'Shoji-to' is considered to be the first openable Shoji, but one theory says it was not a sliding door but a swing door.
However, considering that the 'Kenjo no shoji' as Shiturai was a removable set-in door, it was not convenient if 'Shoji-to' as a way in or out was a fixed door.
In the "Gokeshidai" (the Ritual Protocol of the Oe House), there is a description that 'according to recent customs, Kita no mishoji (also called Kenjo no shoji) is removed except on the days of public matters.'
The technique of fitting a movable (removable) wooden wall was a device created because of the humid climate of Japan inevitably, and was a very innovative technique that was not seen in Tang style.
It was devised to be removable as necessary by carving each one toi (a generic term gutter) in the threshold and kamoi (a generic term for a head jamb, normally having tracks for sliding doors or partitions) and setting a sliding door by carving the gutter of kamoi deeper than that of the threshold. Regarding technique, it was more innovative than a fixed wall or an architectural style of door.
In addition, from the point of technology, it is a similar technique and only an application of the innovative technique to carve two toi and have screens slide horizontally along tracks.
Apparently from the description of the section of the year 929 in "Nihongi Ryaku," that is, 'the overdrawn image of Kenjo sage on the shoji of Shishinden,' apparently the date of the appearance of 'Shoji-to,' that is, Fusuma, which was set at the same time of 'Kenjo no shoji,' was from 901 to 914.
The Beginning of the Tales and Doors
In "The Tale of Genji" there is a description that "Taketori Monogatari" (The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter) is the first chronicle in history expressing "Taketori no Okina," the father of the beginning of the tales.'
Neither the writer nor the date of establishment of "Taketori Monogatari" are exactly known, but it is considered to be written before 900. The "Taketori Monogatari" is a tale about marriage, but let us put it aside.
Long ago, there was an old man named 'Taketori no okina (an old man cutting bamboo). He went into mountains and fields and cut bamboo to use in many ways.'
The tale begins from Taketori no Okina finding Kaguya-hime (The Moon Princess) inside bamboo, and he gradually became rich by finding gold from cutting bamboo several times and had a residence with opulent Shitsurai as a millionaire would build.
It says that 'For Shitsurai interior preparation, twill fabrics with painted pictures were set up as partitions.'
The term 'Shitsurai' originally refers to setting up furnishing and decorating them at moya and hisashi in shinden (main house) on the day of an honor ceremony, welcoming guests and holding a feast.
It seems that it meant the Emperor's gozasho (a throne) at first. Later, Shitsurai came to be set up in an aristocrats' residence of Shinden-zukuri as well.
In "Taketori Monogatari," there is the description; 'painted pictures on twill fabric to be pasted in every room.'
Considering the expression of 'every room' apparently means Shoji partitions and it is unlikely that there were only wooden walls of bays in moya and hisashi.
In 'Taketori Monogatari zu' (pictures of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) and 'Naraehon' (a kind of picture story book produced by a painter in Nara), which were later works, sliding Fusuma and Mairado were painted.
The invention of fittings which separate room of Shinden-zukuri in the style of a large hall was a big momentum of the development from a large space with multipurpose to small spaces with specific purposes and a significant innovation of architecture style which changed the style of living based on the separation between public and private in Shinden-zukuri residence.
Considering that the set-in Shoji (fukushoji, or set-in translucent screens) and the sliding Shoji were invented almost at the same time, apparently there were sliding Fusuma as a part of residence of upper class until the establishment of "Taketori Monogatari."
From the evidence, although collateral evidence, the date of the appearance of Fusuma Shoji seems to be the period from 884 to 888.
In "Manyoshu" there is a waka of KAKINOMOTO no Hitomaro, in which the word 'fusuma' (Japanese-style bedding) and 'hikite' (door pull - literally, "hand pull") seems to have been used as a play on words.
Leaving my wife in Hikite no yama (Mt. Ryuo) of Fusumaji and trailing a mountain, I don't feel like I am alive.'
It is said that this waka expresses loneliness felt when Hitomaro buried his dead wife in this place and came home through a mountain path.
Adopting this waka as an evidence, Manyoshu was established around 771.
If we guess that this waka was produced around the establishment of Taiho Code (in 701), judging from the period Hitomaro's flourished, there apparently were 'Fusuma Shoji' (an opaque sliding screen made of a wooden frame and thick paper) in limited places such as the fusumadokoro (place to sleep) in the Imperial Palace in those days.
It can be imagined that he admired 'Fusuma Shoji' which existed in a limited place, and included it into his waka dearly. However, there are various theories for the interpretation of this waka, so that it might be too ambitious to go back one hundred and several decades for the appearance of Fusuma all at once, although it is very tempting to do so.
The Establishment of Yarido (a generic term of sliding door along the groove between kamoi and the threshold) and Mairado
In "The Tale of Genji" there is an expression of yarido.
The 'Yarido' began to be used mainly as an external partition for aristocrats' residence or in architecture for temples, but it seems to have been used as an inner partition as well.
In the "Genji Monogatari Emaki" (Illustrated handscrolls of the Tale of Genji), that 'yarido' was drawn. It was a sliding Mairado which was set between threshold and kamoi. Yarido' and 'Mairado' are wooden doors setting ireko-ita (thin panels of wood inserted between the rails and stiles of a pivot-hinged door) in surrounding Kamachi (door frame) and putting mairako (thin, parallel strips of wood about 2-3 cm wide and 1.8 cm thick affixed to the front and back of a door made of a single wooden panel and set in a frame). It is apparently a lightweight form developed from tsumado.
Various designs of lightweight Mairado were elaborated as convenient doors and Mairado were often used as a swing door or a sliding door.
The mairako was set in on one side or both sides as crosspiece horizontally or vertically in various designs such as the same interval or fukiyose (the arrangement of muntins, lattice, ceiling ribs, rafters, or similar structured elements in sets of two or three or more with a wide space between one group and the next).
The invention of movable wooden wall set in the tracks carved in the threshold and kamoi led to the flowering in innovations of techniques of doors and applications and the devices for sliding Fusuma Shoji and yarido.
The word 'yarido' itself means a sliding door, but it seems that it did not mean Fusuma Shoji and Akari-shoji but meant a sliding Mairado.
The first form of Fusuma Shoji can be thought as a wooden panel pasted silk cloth with and drawn Chinese paintings or Yamato-e, and later because of pursuing lightweight doors it was changed to the new form with setting kumiko (strips of the wooden lattice positioned vertically and horizontally to make latticework used in gable pediments or sliding screens) on Kamachi and pasting figured silk on both sides for lightweight and decoration of Shitsurai.
On the other hand, yarido were used as an external partition and seems to be the lightweight form developed from tsumado, and the openable and closable yarido was an innovative fitting as an alternative to the clay wall of plaster which was not adequate for the humid climate of Japan.
The Appearance of Akari-shoji
In ancient texts the term 'Koshi' (格子) is often described as 'Koshi' (隔子), for example, in Kawachi no kuni Kanshin-ji Engi Shizaicho (Official Register and Inventory for Kanshin-ji Temple in Kawachi Province) in 884, there is a record that the four 'lattice doors' were set up in front of Nyohodo (a Buddhism hall).
Since it was expressed as a door, it seems to have been a swing door in the Continent style instead of Shitomi (wooden shutters with crisscross lattice).
For the entrance of architecture of temples, the swing lattice doors became to be used often, and in addition, according to "Tonomine Ryakki" (brief sketch of Tonomine) the five lattice doors were set in front of Naijin (inner sanctuary of a shrine or temple) of the lecture hall in narabido (two temples) style which was built in 972 and the three lattice doors were placed to separate Naijin from Gejin (outer place of worship for public people).
During the latter part of the Heian period, a sliding lattice door became to be used widely. In the picture rolls such as "Genji Monogatari Emaki" and "Nenchu-gyoji Emaki" (picture roll of annual events), there are pictures of black lacquered lattice doors used as sliding doors or set-in partitions.
In the Phoenix Hall in Byodoin Temple which FUJIWARA no Yorimichi had built in 1053, there are not only door apertures in the four directions, but also koshi-yarido (wooden sliding lattice door) inside of them.
This usage of koshi-yarido makes it possible to ensure daylight and airflow as well as functioning as a partition. From the point of function, it could be considered to be the predecessor of Akari-shoji.
The Shoji appeared around the end of the Heian period.
According to its reconstructed picture, it was very different from the conventional Shinden-zukuri house and was abounded in functional and rational ingenuity for using partitions.
Among them, the usage of Akari-shoji was an innovative ingenuity.
Shitomido and Mairado had been the major external partitions except walls in the past times, but they could not prevent rain and wind if opened so that they were inconvenient doors. In order to play both roles for daylight and partitioning, a bamboo blind or a lattice door was used, but they were not suitable in winter.
Kyoto city is in basin and especially famous for being chilling to the bone in winter. It seems that people placed folding screens around surrounded by kicho in the room and held braziers in their hands.
As a new door not only functioned as a partition ensuring daylight, they also preventing cold wind, the Akari-shoji was created. However, only Akari-shoji could not bear the wind and rain so that it was used with others such as Mairado, Shitomi and a lattice door.
Akari-shoji were placed for 5.4 m wide as an external partition of Shinden Kita-hisashi in Izumi-dono of Rokuhara.
In "Sankaiki" (Tadachika NAKAYAMA's diary) there are descriptions to 'remove Akari-shoji' or 'set Akari-shoji' in this Shinden or Hiro-bisashi (broad eaves). In the picture record of "Heike-nokyo" (collective term of Buddhist scriptures in dedicated by the Taira family" which was dedicated by TAIRA no Kiyomori with statements in Itsukushima-jinja Shrine in 1164, Akari-shoji was drawn in the hermitage of a priest.
Apparently the Akari-shoji of this time was made by setting Kamachi in four directions, handing four crossbars to big two tatezan (vertical frame), and pasting silk or tissue paper on one side.
In the ancient documents on Shitsurai in Shinden-zukuri style there is a description that 'After building posts around and setting Kamoi lintels, lacquered Akari-shoji sliding doors are set in each room.'
In "Kasuga Gongen Genki Enikki" (picture scrolls of the Miracles of the Kasuga Deity), a black-lacquered Akari-shoji was drawn. In addition, a fringe is set to hikite (door pull, literally, "hand pull") the same as Fusuma Shoji. It is interesting to note that in the historical process of development of Akari-shoji, the edge of lacquered Nuriko (thing to be coated with) was used in Shinden-zukuri house and considered as Shitsurai the same as Fusuma Shoji.
The Akari-shoji which uses a thin Kumiko-bone (formation of crosspiece vertically and horizontally such as lattice) for Kamachi like present Akari-shoji often appeared in the Emakimono (picture scroll) in the Kamakura period, but needed some time and technical improvement.
Since Akari-shoji was easily broken, very few have remained until now.
The Akari-shoji made at the time of reconstruction of Daishi-do Hall in the western part of To-ji Temple (To-ji Sai-in) in 1380 during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts is said to be the oldest Akari-shoji.
The Kamachi and crosspiece of the upper side and under side are made in the same width and put in the way of Jigoku-kumiko (vertical crosspiece and horizontal crosspiece are put alternately), and the front side and the lateral side of crosspiece are made in almost the same size.
In addition, there is also Komochi-shoji (two Akari-shoji set into a single track).
The Akari-shoji of Zenshitsu (room for Zen sitting meditation) at Gango-ji Temple in the Kamakura period has one track with two sliding Akari-shoji. In those days it must have been quite troublesome to carve a deep track with only a chisel. It might be easier to carve one wide track than two tracks. Since it is architecture of the style of the Zen sect, it seems to be reasonable to consider it as an artful pleasure.
It simply does not work to put two shoji into one track.
Therefore, the vertical Kamachi of the pillar side is made in almost the same size as the width of track, remaining Meshi-awase (crossover of sliding doors) unchanged. This ingenuity makes it possible for Akari-shoji to slide without derailing from a track. A little ingenuity.
Komochi-shoji is also used in Ryoginan hojo (abbot's chamber) of Tofuku-ji Temple, which was the oldest remains of the architecture of Hojo room in Zen sect's style. Here, the four Akari-shoji are put into one track. The two central Shoji can slide in above way and the outside two Shoji are smaller in width and permanently-set.
In Zen-sect style architecture many ingenuities of design and novelties of technique are seen.
Doors During the Kamakura and Muromachi Periods
The Introduction of Sangarado (paneled entrance doors introduced from China)
During the Kamakura period, the intercommunication with China which was interrupted since the abolishment of Kentoshi (Japanese envoy to China in the Tang Dynasty) began and trade with the Sung (dynasty) became active. In addition, continuous pressure by the powerful Menggu against the Sung dynasty led to an increase in the political asylum of priests one after another, and consequently the number of toraijin (people from overseas, especially from China and Korea, who settled in early Japan and introduced Continental culture to the Japanese) also increased.
In Buddhist architecture, this style is called 'daibutsuyo' (the style of architecture introduced from China), while the new style of Buddhist architecture later introduced by a Zen sect was called 'zenshuyo.'
For this type of temple architecture in continental style, the sangarado was used as a new fitting technique. The sangarado is a door made by setting Kamachi of four directions and a few crosspieces and inserting ireko-ita in between them.
The conventional Itasando was a door made with several vertical planks in the frame of Kamachi and had a nailed rear crosspiece.
Compared to the Itasando of Japanese style, it was an new technique that greatly trimmed down the weight. This innovative technique is applied to conventional homes as Sugi-shoji (doors made of Japanese cedar, sometimes sliding doors made of either single panels of smooth cedar or multiple panels of straight-grained cedar).
The sangarado of Kaisando of Todai-ji Temple in daibutsuyo introduced by Chogen is a style that sets fukiyose of two horizontal crosspieces, with vertical crosspieces in the center and crosspieces in shinogi (the upper part of a timber that are cut diagonally on each side in order to form a peak).
The characteristics of sangarado in Zen sect style are working with delicate forms such as putting transom of thin kumiko or hanazama (a latticework panel with a flower pattern attached to the muntins or a type of foliate panel with a flower pattern) on the upper side and setting karado for crosspieces.
In the later Zen sect architectural style, Katomado (specially shaped windows with many s-shaped curves found in a Zen temple) were devised. In the Shari-den (a special hall for keeping the Buddha's bones relics) of the Engaku-ji Temple, which is a representative architecture of Zen sect, while the central door adopts conventional sangarado, both side doors have large Katomado with sangarado set inside.
The Jizo-do of Shofuku-ji Temple adopts the same design.
The karado, which came from the Continent (especially from China), had been improved from the large and heavy solid timber in the Horyu-ji Temple in Nara, to the sangarado during the Kamakura period, and was technically completed to reduce weight.
After this period, it began to be adopted in temple architecture of Japanese style and had a large effect on the door design of various architectural styles.
The Appearance of Sugi-shoji
Akari-shoji was a door produced out of the need for daylight to brighten an interior room. It was used as an external partition of a building to allow daylight in.
However, its thin paper was torn by the weather.
Seeing the actual usage in Emakimono, Akari-shoji was set inside of Hajitomi (wooden door with latticework). In other words, the under half of Hajitomi stood unopened. It was natural that Koshidaka-shoji putting wainscot on the lower half which tended to get wet from rain was devised as a result of such actual usage.
It was a logical consequence that Koshidaka-shoji was about 80 cm high, which was the same height as the lower half of Hajitomi. In a picture scroll on the biography of Kakujo, "Bokiekotoba," which done in 1351 during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts, two sliding Koshidaka-shoji in Mairado style on lower half were done in the priest's room.
In the diary of FUJIWARA no Teika, "Meigetsuki," there is a description of him setting Sugiita-shoji (Sugi-shoji) on which a picture was executed in the section of the year of 1227, and that he was going to set sugi-yarido (yarido made with cedar) instead of plastering a wall in the west side of the tsumado informality in section of the year of 1230.
This shoji was a wooden door made with solid timbers of cedar between black-lacquered Kamachi and it was called Sugi-shoji, Sugi-yarido, Sugiita-shoji, and sugito.
Considering that pictures were executed on Sugi-shoji and it was used as an alternative wall, it can be thought of as a kind of development of Fusuma-shoji of Shitsurai, and it was mainly used for partitions between verandas and rooms or on the veranda as well as a shoin window (study or guest room in Japanese residential architecture) resembling a bay window.
The main subjects of the pictures depicted on Sugi-shoji were the beauty of nature and prancing horses of Yamato-e, although karae were sometimes seen like found in Fusuma-shoji. The subjects of pictures done on Sugi-shoji in "Honen Shonin Eden" (biography of Honen) as Gachu-ga (a pictorial works that appear within a painting as part of the overall composition) are mainly geese in wild reeds, pine and plum trees.
The existing oldest Sugi-shoji was one made during the construction of the main hall of Kakurin-ji Temple in Hyogo Prefecture around 1397 at the beginning of the Muromachi period.
Although Sugi-shoji is a door that is not used at present, but in fact, it is very familiar in a song. The song is titled 'Hotaru no Hikari' (song of the glowing firefly), which is always sung during graduation ceremonies at schools.
While I spent much time reading books by the glow of fireflies and the reflection from the snow, outside the window, shined by moon light, time has passed. Today, I am going to leave here (the school) after opening the door of cedar.'
The Shoin-zukuri (one of the Japanese most important residential architectural styles, established during the Momoyama period) and Doors
An explanation of the section of 'Shoin-zukuri' in the Kojien dictionary is simple and sticks to the point as follows.
'It is a style of architecture of samurai residence which appeared from the middle of the Muromachi period and was completed during the Momoyama period.'
'It is used in Japanese-style houses even now.'
'It is an individual space for service and is arranged very well.'
'It raises the floor level of main room and equips alcove, shelves and tsukeshoin (the exterior corner of the alcove on the veranda in an aristocratic style dwelling).'
'It uses kakubashira (a corner post or pillar that is square or rectangular) and tatami (a floor covering made of tightly woven grass and straw) as well as Mairado, Akari-shoji and Fusuma.'
In the 'Rakuchu Rakugai-zu' Byobu (screen paintings of scenes in and around the capital) of Machidabon (versions of Machida) and Uesugibon (versions of the Uesugi family) which described Kyoto in the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States), the residences of Shogun Ashikaga of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) and the Hosokawa family of Kanrei (top ranked job in Muromachi period to support the shogun and control the government) are also painted. It shows the style of architecture of Shoin-zukuri at the early stage, which is quite different from the structure of Shinden-zukuri.
As for the doors, Koshidaka-akari-shoji (Akari-shoji with a wainscot of about 80cm high), Maidaro and Fusuma-shoji are often used.
In the floor plan which reconstructs the Kaisho (meeting place) of Higashiyamadono (villa at Mt. Higashiyama) of Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA, all were sliding doors, inner partitions were all Fusuma-shoji, and external partitions of the south and west sides were Koshidaka-akari-shoji.
In the kyakuden (reception hall) of Kangakuin, Onjo-ji Temple (built in 1600) and the kyakuden of Kojoin (built in 1601) which were remains of Shoin-zukuri at the beginning of recent times, Akari-shoji was set inside Mairado as well as the inside of tsumado and Shitomido. In the simple style, Koshidaka-shoji was used instead of Mairado and Akari-shoji.
Compared to the Shinden-zukuri, the character of the Shoin-zukuri was the functional structure of being able to divide the inside space into large and small rooms for each purpose, changing a large hall to one for multipurpose. The pillar changed from marubashira (a circular pillar or post) to kakubashira for partitioning, and the various dimensions of the bay in moya and hisashi had been integrated gradually into about 2 m in the building as a whole after the Onin War.
In this age the 1.8 m square room (tatami mat of two jo) was called hitoma (literally meaning one room), and muma (literally meaning six rooms) meant a twelve-jo room.
The main room (zashiki, a room or place floored with tatami mats) consisted of toko and chigaidana (set of staggered shelves) in front, tsukeshoin or hirashoin (one type of window used in a shoin style room) on the side of veranda, and chodaigamae (a built-in ornamental doorway found in the raised area of a formal style reception suite) on the opposite side. Almost all doors were sliding doors, Fusuma-shoji were used for inner partitioning and Akari-shoji or Koshidaka-shoji was set inside Mairado on the three tracks along a veranda. In addition, nageshi (non-penetrating tie beams that are made to fit around pillars of temples and shrines) were set inside of the room, and decorations such as chokoku-ranma (literally, "carved transom" and a decorative frieze consisting of carved panels fixed above the head of a door) were arranged.
After around the mid-Muromachi period, the popularity of tatami mats rapidly began to spread and were bedded in small rooms such as shoin (zashiki of Shoin-zukuri or living and study room), but in a large room like kaisho, tatami mats were used in oimawashi (where the long side of tatami is set against the wall), leaving a wood floor in the center. In "Moko Shurai Ekotoba" (picture scrolls of the Mongol invasion attempts against Japan) and "Honen Shonin Eden," there were scenes that tatami mat were used in oimawashi.
In addition, the Jodan no ma (a raised floor level) that was a one step higher floor from the tatami floor, the same height of Kamachi was made and used depending on the class and status.
Tatami mats were originally a bed and in the aristocratic society during the Heian period strict usage showing the status of the person who was seated there was established as a person with higher status used larger, thicker and more tatami mats. In addition, the edge of tatami (a floor covering made of tightly woven grass and straw) and designs were changed strictly depending upon class. In the samurai world during the Muromachi period, tatami was utilized to show power as a symbol.
Doors in Recent Times
Kiwari (a system for measuring out the wooden components to be used in architecture or statuary) and the Katsura Imperial Villa
The Katsura Imperial Villa was built in the countryside of southwest Kyoto as a villa for Imperial Prince Hachijonomiya Toshihito, at the beginning of the Edo period. The Koshoin (Old shoin (a reception building in a traditional residence)) was built at first and Chushoin (middle shoin) and shingoten (new residence) were built later.
While the Nijo-jo Castle aimed at the completion of pure Shoin-zukuri, the Shoin in the Katsura Imperial Villa was considered to aim at Sukiya-gamae (also called "sukiya-zukuri" (building in the style of a tea-ceremony house)) instead of pure Shoin-zukuri. There is no Kiwari in Katsura Imperial Villa. The Shoin-zukuri originally has 'kiwari' but the Sukiya-zukuri does not.
The method of kiwari developed and spread in recent times.
Kiwari is a system for measuring out almost all the sizes of architectural members according to a ratio based on hashirama (a bay or span).
This hashirama was a way to measure between the center of a pillar to another, that is, 'Shinshin-sei.'
Kiwari was, as it were, a design standard which systematized the ratio of members. It had the advantage that if a building was designed based on this, it could be built accurately. Kiwari on conventional homes and in the architecture of temples were widespread.
"Shomei" (clarification for the artisan-builder) is kiwarisho (a book describing kiwari) completed in 1610.
In the kiwarisho, the design standard for elevation surfaces was mainly described.
The kiwarisho was a trade secret and kaden (family tradition) of carpenters, but was spread widely by block book during the mid-Edo period.
On the other hand, lumber was standardized and commercialized because of the necessity for commercial distribution. In the Kinai Region (countries near Kyoto), the standard for lumber was 12.12 cm squared and 4.09 m long. It was determined that the half the lumber was used for thresholds and kamoi, quarter lumber for taruki (the simplest type of rafter extended from the ridge to the end of, or beyond the eave), sixth of the lumber for yose-shikii (a single grooved track (threshold) for sliding doors, opaque sliding screens or a translucent sliding screen) and kamoi, and duodecimal lumber for furring strips of waist panel and saobuchi (a wooden strip nailed horizontally to a board of ceiling).
In addition, the need of commercial distribution inevitably led to the standardizations of tatami. As a result, naihosei (the way of measuring based upon the inner size of pillar) was created and tatami mat was standardized as the longer side was 1.909 m and the shorter side was 0.93 m.
On the other hand, in the Kanto Region, because 1.818 m was defined as 1 ken (about 1.8 m), the longer side of tatami was 1.757 m and the shorter size was 87.87 cm, which was called 'inaka-ma' (literally means 'the room of the countryside') as opposed to 'kyo-ma' (literally means 'the room of Kyoto') in the Kinai Region.
Anyway, the size of hashirama was defined based upon tatami mat, and the width of the room came to be expressed by the number of tatami (called tatamiwari sei).
From the needs of commercial distribution, the standardization of lumber, tatami and doors were promoted, and consequently a carpenter could construct a building without drawing a design if he or she knew at least kiwari and had a simple floor plan.
Therefore, the style of houses were uniformed, but the dimensions of tatami were different depending upon the regions of Kinai, Chukyo (countries around Nagoya) and Kanto, which led to the difference of the width of a room depending on the regions as the ratio of 'Chukyo-ma' (the room in the Chukyo Region) was 0.9 and the one of 'inaka-ma or edo-ma' was 0.85 against the 6 jo width of 'Kyo-ma.'
Especially in Edo, a heavily-populated area, the smallest tatami was used as the standard because in the Mikawa region, when it was ruled by Ieyasu, the smaller tatami, which was called inaka-ma as opposed to kyo-ma, was forced to be used from the standpoint of modesty and frugality.
It is said that with entering into the Kanto Region, the tatami craftsmen in the Mikawa Region inevitably moved to Edo and produced the tatami of 'inaka-ma,' which later became the standard.
The Sukiya-zukuri had a different method totally different from kiwari.
The Katsura Imperial Villa is not connected with either kiwari nor the dimensional standard of lumber.
There are various sizes of tatami mat and there was no standard for the bay, and inevitably, as a result, there are various sizes of doors. There is no rational on structure or economy, and they are built freely.
What is uniform is the visual beauty which adds a plus to conventional craftsmanship. In Chushoin, extremely wide Akari-shoji were set between three bays, and broke up the monotonous repetition. The Fusuma is also wider and various daring checkered patterns are pasted. It is said that the beauty of the Katsura Imperial Villa is the fusion of its calm and elegant form and great gardens.
The Katsura Imperial Villa is formed in the center of a circuit style garden.
Its representative buildings, Koshoin, Chushoin, Gakki no ma (a room where musical instruments were stored) and Oyagoten, are built in the Shoin-zukuri style in the form of ganko (lining up shoulder to shoulder like flying geese). There is other garden architecture such as Gepparo (a building for viewing the moon reflected from a pond), Shokintei (a building for tea ceremony), Manji-tei (armor standing at the top of the toyama (outer hills)), Shokatei (a building for tea ceremony), Onrindo (a small private Buddhist hall) and Shoiken (a building for tea ceremony).
The Shokintei made as a building for tea room is in the central of the garden, and the most excellent garden architecture seen in the Katsura Imperial Villa. On the tokonoma and Fusuma in the Shokintei, weathered indigo and white Kaga Hosho gami (traditional white Japanese paper, made from high-quality mulberry wood in Kaga Province) are pasted in daring checkered patterns.
The Katsura Imperial Villa was the best example of Shoin-zukuri architecture in the style of sukiya (building in the style of a tea-ceremony house), was the fusion of sukiya style and Shoin-zukuri building and a pioneer in the transition from the tea ceremony in Shoin to the tea ceremony in the room of suikiya style.
In the "Shomei," there is a description that says; 'Soeki is the first person to call the tea ceremony house, Sukiya.'
From the Shoin tea ceremony that was particular about formalities, the wabicha (the subdued-style tea ceremony) which emphasized the raising of a spirit standing aloof from the world had become popular and the space for tea ceremony including a tea hut into design had been established.
The Shoin-zukuri room which used kakubashira, nageshi, and richly colored kinpeki shohekiga (a large painting on a wall, screen or sliding door where strong, bright, mineral pigments such as ultramarine, malachite, and red ocher were applied over gold backgrounds with gold foil and gold paint) on the wall and Fusuma-shoji were suitable for ceremonies to see a guest, but a little too stiff for daily life.
Influenced by the prevalence of the tea ceremony, the menkawabashira (a pillar or post rafter or batten usually made of cedar or cypress, which has four planed sides but retains natural texture, including the bark, untouched at the corners) was used, and light, easy and elaborate designs were devised.
Various sophisticated designs were devised as follows; the formation of Katomado (specially shaped windows with many s-shaped curves in a Zen temple) and its above Shoji of tsukeshoin, the design of kugikakushi (object which conceals the head of nail) of transom and the usage of karakami (printed paper, paper sliding door) xylographed simple komon (small fine pattern) motif.
The court nobles favored a building of such light and easy designs. Generally it is called a Sukiya-zukuri building.
In accordance with the prevalence of tea ceremony from medieval times to recent times, the tea room in the tea hut, which was the individual architecture for tea ceremony, had been built. The Sukiya-zukuri of building was completed incorporating its design into Shoin-zukuri, and on the other hand, the original designs of the seclusion of a hermit which was popular in medieval times and of the villas of court nobles who favored tasteful elegance also had a large effect on it.
The main Kojoin room is Tasogare no ma (literally, "room of twilight"), where there is Jodan no ma of two jo with toko and shoin. The shoin has Katomado and there is a chigaidana with Zushi (one of the Buddhist altar articles) on the left of the toko.
The next room of Tasogare no ma is the Fuji no ma (literally, "room of Mt. Fuji"), in the west of which there is a tea room of ichijo-daime (three-quarter size of tatami), and at the back of Tasogare no ma a tea room called Hasso no seki (a tea room at Konchi-in of Nanzen-ji Temple) is attached. It incorporates the elaborated designs for chigaidana, kugikakushi, transom, and so on. Especially the transom between Tasogare no ma and Fuji no ma has a uniquely designed and carved Chrysanthemum pattern.
The Kuroshoin (a private room for the master to work) of the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple was built in 1657 during the same period of the construction of Manshuin Temple. The Kuroshoin located in the depth of Shiroshoin, which is a room used to meet guests, and in the main room, ichi no ma, there is a toko of one and half ken wide and menkawabashira as a pillar of toko.
In the shoin, left of the toko, there is Katomado and chigaidana set a little apart from its left front side. It consists of individual elaborated designs such as a shelf board of openwork in a wickerwork design, the designs of kugikakushi plant motif and a sculptured transom.
Because all of them were built during the same period and were temple architecture, they were built in Shoin-zukuri style basically, so that they were used as a tasteful daily room which incorporated free, light, easy and sophisticated designs while maintaining the elegance of Shoin-zukuri.
The Tea Room
It was in the Nara period when tea was introduced into Japan.
The green powdered tea was introduced by a Zen priest during the Kamakura period.
The tea ceremony was held in the parlor in the house of a court noble and samurai during the early stages. This parlor was called hiroma (a large room occupying the full cross section of a building) or Shoin, and the tea ceremony there was called, the tea ceremony in Shoin.
In the first style of tea ceremony, the place where the tea was produced was guessed while enjoying beautifully made tea cups, but later the action of drinking the tea itself came to be valued mentally through its prevalence.
Gradually the place for the tea ceremony had been changed from Shoin to a space for pleasure standing aloof from the world or a small room exclusively for tea ceremony. By using an extremely small room from six to four and half, and two jo, the tea ceremony, the spirituality of which was enhanced, came to be held.
In the "Nanboroku" (books of tea ceremony) there is a description that says; 'The room sized Yojohan (7.4 square meters) was designed by Juko, and the main room is set as; shiraharitsuke of Torinoko-gami (wall pasted Torinoko-gami paper), fushinashi tenjo (edgeless ceiling) of cedar boards, koita-fuki (flooring with small wooden board), hogyo-zukuri (roofing of squire, sexanglular and octagon) and toko of 1.8 m.'
By Juko MURATA, who was considered to be the founder of tea ceremony, the tea ceremony at yojohan zashiki was widespread.
In addition, in the "Nanboroku" there is a description that 'During the period of Joo, yojohan zashiki had been partially improved, replacing haritsuke (fixed walls which are pasted paintings on paper) to tsuchikabe (clay wall), wooden latticework to one of bamboo, and the Koshiita (baseboard wood paneling and finishing trims) of Shoji has been removed, and toko is covered with a thinner coating or plain wood, and the room with the interior above is called "Kusa no Zashiki" (hut of grass; tea hut).'
Joo TAKENO, master of ceremonial tea in Sakai, devised a tea room in the style of sukiya.
The words, 'replaced haritsuke to tsuchikabe' mean the haritsukekabe (wall surface of a fixed door, Fusuma sliding screen, or wooden wall pasted paper and cloth) pasted torinokogami (an eggshell colored, handmade paper with a smooth, glossy surface), which is also called Fuku-shoji (sub-shoji) and used as a zashiki wall of Shoin-zukuri. He incorporated the style of a tea hut into tea room using a clay wall, a window with takekomai (the lath used on top of rafters beneath sheathing and roofing materials) and a bamboo lattice in the window. The tea room in the tea hut was established by SEN no Rikyu.
It consists of the tea room of two jo, tsugi no ma (anteroom of the main formal reception) of one jo and katte (a place used to cook and prepare food in upper class residences) of one jo. The one jo is Temae no za (the place to hold a tea ceremony), and the other is the sitting place for guests. It is an extremely small tea room. Even if the tsugi no ma is used as seats for accompanying people, it is only a width of three jo.
Guests enter from nijiriguchi (an exceedingly small entrance for guests in a rustic style tea ceremony room) which is 78.78 cm high and 71.51 cm wide. It is considered too large for Rikyu's nijiriguchi, but a guest has to bend forward to enter. Entering from the nijiriguchi by bending forward is a form of ceremony for entering another space which is apart from real world. Passing through nijiriguchi makes it possible to enter the subtle and profound world of Wabi (austere refinement).
Its ceiling is made with none-ita (thin wooden board for roofing) boarded up with white bamboo at the front and the left of toko and designed as Kesho-yaneura (the underside of the roof is visible because no ceiling has been installed. Occasionally, the rough underside of the roof may be finished with carefully planed boards or sheathing placed to follow the actual roof slope) showing bamboo balk. Part of Kesho-yaneura is devised to alleviate the low ceiling. The sumibashira (also called kakubashira; a corner post or pillar that is square or rectangular) in toko is hidden, which is designed as murodoko (an alcove which is completely plastered), and another sumibashira of the wall on the ro (a sunken hearth; a square box installed into the floor of a tea ceremony room to make a charcoal fire) is also hidden by being plastered. These are devices used to alleviate the narrowness of the room as well as room design to provide it differences.
The bones of Shoji are made with bamboo, there are three Fushi (gnarls) in kamachi of toko, and the tokobashira (the pillar closest to the corner of the tea ceremony room and the second of two pillars dictate the width of the alcove) is made with Maruta KITAYAMA (lumber from Mt. Kitayama).
There are various sizes of Shoji for daylight in various positions on the walls. The wall is a clay wall with pasted Kaga Hosho gami in koshibari (paper pasted on the lower part of the clay wall in a tea ceremony room) style.
On Fusuma-shoji the karakami printed in one color of kira (a silicate mineral with a layered structure, its crystals are often found in granite deposits) in taikobari style (a type of fusuma (paper-covered, sliding door) which is completely covered with stout Japanese paper). All parts makeup the receptacle of the Rikyu's sophisticated spirit and entice people into his original world. It is a world of the minimum universe revealed in the sprit of the tea of Rikyu.
The tea room is a small universe which is apart from real world.
It is desirable to put oneself into a spiritual world different from the real world before he enters the tea room. The path to a tea room of the houses of samurai or court noble or temples from the streets is not considered only a route, but is elaborated as a preparatory space for tea.
The trees are arranged so not to see into the tea room, and the stepping-stones are arranged not only so guests can walk easily over them, but also it creates a sense of elegance without invoking any intention. Dividing the alley into the outside and inside, Chumon gate or nakakuguri (a type of middle gate used to divide an outer tea garden from an inner tea garden) on the border. By passing under the Chumon gate or nakakuguri, a person feels he or she is approaching the tea room, which gives him a sense of beginning to gradually leave the real world.
Various representations and designs are arranged such as the seats to wait for entering a tea room, tsukubai (literally "stooping basin". A low wash basin used in a tea garden) to wash hands, and lantern which lights the footsteps.
It is said that Roji (the adjacent garden) originated from that the townsmen in Kyoto and Sakai elaborated the path to the tea room in the depth of their homestead.
The masters of tea ceremony precisely devised and paid careful attention for not only the tea room, but also its approach from the outside space.
The Samurai Residence
The path to the entrance from the gate of a samurai residence is paved with stone and leads to the shikidai (steps in a Japanese entranceway) in the entrance. At the front of the entrance, Mairado was used, and in the case of a samurai residence, 7 to 10 thick cross rails, i.e., yoko-mairako (mairako affixed horizontally), of more than 3 cm wide, were used roughly, expressing stateliness and severity.
Originally the Mairado with more mairako was ranked higher as some Mairado had as many as 35 mairako. In the samurai residence thick mairako were arranged in order to express power.
At the front of the inside of the entrance way, yaridoko (room where guests' spears were placed) could be found in a large residence, but it was usually covered with a wall. The reason why the front was covered by a wall was so not to be able to see the inside through.
The ceiling of the zashiki was made high, there was nothing on the tatami, and there were preparations for battle as a precaution measure. In addition, a spear stand was placed above nageshi in zashiki, and at the back of nageshi, stones for throwing were hidden in some samurai residences.
The reason why the itanoma (room with a wooden floor) and doma (dirt floor) in the kitchen were large compared to the size of residence was so it could be used for preparation for battle. For samurai, preparations both in daily life and for emergencies were necessary.
In the ninth section of Kanatehon, Chushingura (a program of Kabuki - Japanese classical drama titled "The treasury of Loyal Retainers"), there is a description that says; 'KO no Moronao, known as a prudent person, all shoji and fusuma of the residence had shirizashi (a kind of key for fitting, a wedge knocked in under rail) and amado (shutters) had aisen-aikuro (locked with the meeting edges made with a tongue and groove or with a lap joint), of which locks couldn't be broken open, and tearing them down with sledge hammers would make a sound and there wouldn't be time to say; how was it...'
After consideration, Ako Roshi (lordless samurai of Ako domain) prepared thick marutake (hewn bamboo) stretched rope in the form of bow, put its ends on the threshold and kamoi of the shutters and cut the rope. The scene, where the threshold and kamoi were loosened by the reverse power of thick marutake, all the shutters were unfastened and the gishi (loyal retainer) entered into the residence in bursts, is famous.
According to the pictures that came down to the Ogyu family, the residence of Kozukenosuke Yoshinaka KIRA, who was a precedent of Koke (a shogunal vassal to be a honorable family in the Edo period) in the Tokugawa Shogunate was 2796.69 sq. m. of building area on 8,429.75 sq. m. of land, which was about 62.66 m from east to west in width and 133.83 m from north to south in width.
It's hardly possible that the solid shutter in this princely and guarded samurai residence which had the power from 10,000 koku (approximately 1.8 million liters of crop yield) to 20,000 koku (approximately 3.6 million liters of crop yield) could be unfastened so easily like in a play.
It is said that in fact there were loud sounds heard when breaking shutters and Shoji with kakeya (wooden maul), that could be heard all the way to the northern neighboring residence of Chikara TSUCHIYA, a Hatamoto (direct retainer of the shogun).
The Nijo-jo Castle
The Nijo-jo Castle was built on Ieyasu's orders over a three year period from 1601.
It consists of the two rooms, but during the age of Ieyasu there were three rooms of Jodan no ma, Chudan no ma (middle floor level), and Gedan no ma (lower floor level). Ieyasu was seated at the center of Jodan no ma and held a ceremony to see the Emperor.
In Jodan no ma, there are tokowakidana (decorative shelves arranged in the recess next to the decorative alcove) 1.8 m wide and a tokonoma 5.4 m wide in the front, based on Shoin-zukuri style, as well as tsukeshoin on the side of the Hiroen (wide veranda) and chodaigamae on the right side.
As mentioned above, chodaigamae is a built-in ornamental doorway with a threshold raised by about one step from a tatami mat, and one step down from the kamoi lower than nageshi and placed four blue Fusuma-e (images painted on fusuma sliding door).
The threshold and kamoi of the chodaigamae, pillars and hotate (a thin board or narrow post set on each side of a door or gate to provide a neat finish) were all finished in black-lacquered, which created a heavy and prestigious atmosphere of a ceremony.
In addition, at the back of Tofusuma door of chodaigamae there was a closet, in which a samurai could be hidden in an emergency, so that it was called the warriors' hiding place. This Shoin-zukuri style of Jodan no ma was adopted by all means, aside from the difference of the scale in the zashiki of samurai residence.
The Chudan no ma in the Nijo-jo Castle was down one step from the Jodan no ma and especially high class attendants of the ceremony were seated in accordance to their ranks.
On the right side of the wall there are three fixed pictures on partitions 2.7 m wide. The combination of these blue pictures on partitions with the chodaigamae Tofusuma door in the Jodan no ma and the Fusuma-e in the Gedan no ma shows a magnificent panorama picture.
The Gedan no ma was down one more step from the Chudan no ma and attendants or persons who met the Emperor were seated in a strict order of precedence.
The ceremony of seeing the Emperor was the most important ceremony for a samurai family to demonstrate its status or power, and was a ceremonial place to swear loyalty to the master's house.
After the ceremony of seeing the Emperor, Ieyasu went down to the Gedan no ma. He would then watch Noh (traditional masked dance-drama) played at the Noh stage in front of the Hiroen which was left of the Gedan no ma. All of the daimyo (Japanese territorial lord) and court nobles who attended the ceremony went down to Gedan no ma and watched the Noh play.
The Noh play was an important entertainment for court nobles and samurai families in those days.