Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 40: Tatami and Shoji Screens

There is nothing like the smell of fresh tatami. It is correct to say Tatami, not tatami mat as Tatami IS a mat (That's like saying a Koala bear)
Rooms can be opened up fr more space and the 'walls'  disappear

A tatami is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Traditionally made of rice straw to form the core (though nowadays sometimes the core is composed of compressed wood chip boards boards or ploystyrene foam), with a covering of woven soft rush, tatami are made in uniform sizes. Usually, on the long sides, they have edging (heri) of brocade or plain cloth.
A tea House in Tokyo
Rooms always come ina  combination of 4.5,  5 or 8 mats, Rules govern the layout and an inauspicious layout is said to bring bad fortune. In homes, the mats must not be laid in a grid pattern, and in any layout there is never a point where the corners of four mats touch.
 I love the look of light filtering through the screen
In traditional Japanese architecture, a shōji is a door, window or room divider consisting of translucent paper over a frame of wood which holds together a lattice of wood or bamboo While washi is the traditional paper, shōji may be made of paper made by modern manufacturing processes; plastic is also in use.
Beautiful detail on a screen in an old hotel
Shōji doors are designed to slide open, and thus conserve space that would be required by a swinging door. They are used in traditional houses as well as Western-style housing, especially in the Japanese-style room. In modern construction, the shōji does not form the exterior surface of the building; it sits inside a sliding glass door or window.
Futon  (means whole bedding) with the quilt and protector
Lots of private homes I visited were western design but with a 'Japanese Style' room where futon were laid out for sleep for extra guests

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