Japanese house

Japan house style

In ancient Japan, there were essentially two different types of houses. The first was what is known as a pit-dwelling house, in which columns are inserted into a big hole dug in the ground and then surrounded by grass. The second was built with the floor raised above the ground. The style of house with an elevated floor is said to have come to Japan from Southeast Asia, and this type of building was apparently used to store grain and other foods so that they wouldn't spoil from heat and humidity.
In around the eleventh century, when Japan's unique culture came into full bloom, members of the aristocracy began to build a distinctive style of house for themselves called shinden-zukuri. This type of house, which stood in the midst of a large garden, was symmetrical, and its rooms were connected with long hallways. It allowed residents to enjoy seasonal events and the beauty of nature.


 




 

Japanese home history

A political power passed from the nobles to the samurai (warrior class) and a new form of Buddhism made its way to Japan, core aspects of traditional Japanese culture as we know it today began to take root, including ikebana (flower arranging), the tea ceremony, and Noh. The samurai created their own style of house called shoin-zukuri. This influence can be seen in the alcove ornament of the guest rooms of modern houses.
 
 
Japan house 1
 
Japan house 2
 
Japan house 3
 
Japan house 23
 
Japan house 4
 
Japan house 5

 

The houses of common people developed differently. Farmers in different regions of the country had houses that were adapted to local conditions. The houses built in the gassho style in Shirakawa-go, which is listed as a World Heritage site, are examples of residences in which common people lived. Some farmers' houses had space to keep their cattle and horses indoors, while the houses of city dwellers were often squeezed close together along the streets. As urban homeowners were taxed based on the width of the front side of the house, their houses were built to be long and narrow. This style can still be seen today in older cities like Kyoto.

 
 
Japan house 41
 
Japan house 42
 
Japan house 43
 
Japan house 44
 
Japan house 45
 
 
 Japan house 6
 
Japan house 7
 
  Japan house 9
 
Japan house 10
 
 
 

 

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The top and sides of the kotatsu are covered with a futon to keep the heat in, and a board is placed on top of the futon so that the kotatsu can be used as a table. Around the end of the middle ages, the tokonoma, a kind of small alcove, appeared in the homes of the samurai. The alcove, located in the guest room, usually has a vertical scroll of calligraphy or art for visitors to enjoy, along with traditional ikebana flowers.

 
 
Japan house 31
 
Japan house 32
 
 
 
Japan house 33
 
 
Japan house 34
 
 
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Japan house 37
 
 
Japan house 38
 
 
Japan house 39
 
 
Japan house 40
 
 
Buddhism is practiced in Japan, as it is in many other Asian countries. In Japan, though, indigenous gods have been worshipped alongside the Buddha in homes since long ago. Buddhist altars, known as butsudan, are shaped like a cabinet with doors at the front that swing open. The altar for Japanese gods, known as kamidana, is shaped like a small shrine and is kept on a shelf near the ceiling. It contains a fuda, which is a paper or wooden tablet with writing on it.
 
Living in a Japanese House One common feature of Japanese houses is that they have many sliding doors. In ancient times, they sometimes had dividing screens to partition large rooms. These partitions came to be fitted into the walls, but that caused inconvenience, so grooves were made allowing the partitions to slide.
 
This is the style seen in modern Japanese houses today.
The word shoji was originally the generic term for partitions between rooms, but today it has come to refer mostly to sliding doors made of paper squares glued on a wood lattice that allows soft light to pass through.
 
 
Japan house 12
 
 
Japan house 13
 

Japan house 47

 
Japan house 14
 
 
 
Nowadays tatami mats are used to cover the floor of entire rooms, but long ago, tatami was a luxury and was only used in the areas where people would actually sit. The type of square cushion known as zabuton developed from this practice of sitting on tatami and from the circular cushion known as enza that was used at Buddhist temples. The zabuton was originally a mat made from beautiful cloth, but it came to take its current form in the latter half of the Edo period (1603-1868), when cotton was added. 
 
 
 

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In the past, when people had meals, each person ate from a separate box-like tray. The practice of people gathering around a dining table only began during the Meiji era, when Western and Chinese foods became common. In rooms with tatami, though, chairs are not used, so the table has much shorter legs than those found in other countries. As the living room, where the family dines together, grew to be the center of their lives at home, it came to contain a cabinet that holds the plates and bowls that people use.

 

Japan house 16

 

Japan house 17

 

Japan house 18

 

Japan house 19

 

This cabinet, which is called a chadansu, was originally used to hold the implements used in the tea ceremony In the winter, Japanese use a heated table called a kotatsu when they sit on tatami in the living room. The kotatsu is said to have developed at Zen Buddhist temples during the middle ages. While it originally used coal for its heat, these days kotatsu rely on an electric heating element.

 

Japan house 46

 

Japan house 48

 

Japan house 50

 

Japan house 21

 

Japan house 22

 

Japan house 25

 

Japan house 27

 

Japan house 28

 

Japan house 29

 

Buddhism is practiced in Japan, as it is in many other Asian countries. In Japan, though, indigenous gods have been worshipped alongside the Buddha in homes since long ago. Buddhist altars, known as butsudan, are shaped like a cabinet with doors at the front that swing open. The altar for Japanese gods, known as kamidana, is shaped like a small shrine and is kept on a shelf near the ceiling. It contains a fuda, which is a paper or wooden tablet with writing on it.