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In Japanese architecture, fusuma (襖) are vertical rectangular panels that can be slid from side to side to redefine the spaces of a room or act as doors.
What Are Japanese Sliding Doors Called
They are usually about 90 cm wide and 180 cm high, the same size as a tatami mat, and 2-3 cm thick. The height of the fusuma has increased in recent years due to the increase in the average height of the Japanese population, and heights of 190 cm (6 ft 3 in) are now common. In the older constructions, they are up to 170 cm high. They consist of a wooden base like the grid covered with cardboard and a layer of paper or cloth on both sides. They usually have a black lacquer rim and a round toe closure.
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Historically, fusumas are often painted with scenes of nature, such as mountains, forests or animals. Today, many include mulberry paper or industrially printed graphics, autumn leaves, cherry blossoms, trees or geometric graphics. Models with popular children’s characters are also available for purchase.
Both fusuma and shōji are room dividers that run on wooden rails at the top and bottom. The upper rail is called kamoi (鴨居, literally “duck place”) and the lower rail is called shikii (敷居). Traditionally these were waxed, but today they are usually fitted with a vinyl grease strip to make fusuma and shōji easier to move. Fusuma is usually made of opaque cloth or paper, while shōji is made of clear and transparent paper.
This article about a Japanese building or structure is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Shoji screens are a traditional Japanese architectural feature that you’re sure to be familiar with, even if you don’t realize it.
If you’ve ever been to Japan, or in a Japanese-style building, or even seen a Japanese movie, you’ve noticed the iconic sliding doors or paper walls. Used as doors, windows and room dividers, shoji screens are one of the most recognizable forms of Japanese architecture, art and design and continue to captivate people around the world to this day.
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But while you have probably seen it, there are many questions about the shoji screen that must be answered. Here’s everything you didn’t know about Japanese shoji screens.
It consists of thick, translucent paper laid on a wooden frame and held together by a wooden or bamboo grid. Shoji decorates the rooms and facades of Japanese houses, temples and palaces. Since the times of modern Japan, they have been important accessories for the home. Its function is both practical and artistic, which allowed the shoji screen to live on even after the invention of more modern construction techniques.
This term refers specifically to plain paper covers. Today’s usage is not far from the original, as the paper coverings act as screens, covering things like doors and windows – in other words, obstacles!
However, Shoji doesn’t stop it completely. They act as curtains, shading and protecting the occupants from external factors, while at the same time letting in light and sound to a certain degree.
Tatami Mats And Paper Sliding Doors Called Shoji Room Japanese Zen Style.3d Rendering Stock Illustration
Shoji are more prominent in older, traditional houses and buildings, so you’ll definitely see them in Japanese temples and ryokans. However, their enduring popularity means that they often appear in modern homes, hotels and even offices.
Shoji has an aesthetic and practical role. Thanks to their paper structure, they can be painted directly on them, or complex patterns can be created from the grid. These opportunities have inspired creative expression over the years.
, and can be considered a type of portable shoji. However, they are rarely simple; they usually contain elaborate and beautiful works of art.
(襖) is a Japanese sliding door that is sometimes referred to separately from shoji, but was originally considered a type of shoji.
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, a type of window designed so that the bottom half slides, often offers a beautiful view
The first paper walls in Japan date back over a thousand years. They were made from Chinese folding screens imported to Japan between the 7th and 8th centuries. It is not known how long the folding screen technology is, although Chinese screen art has been around since 200 BC.
Chinese screens were heavy and bulky, used only as partitions between rooms. The Japanese took inspiration from these to create a light and portable version.
This new version was suitable for many purposes. The Japanese use it as a place for tea ceremonies, as a backdrop for stage performances, and to close Buddhist ceremonies.
The Traditional Wooden Sliding Door With Paper Called Fusuma At Hokke Ji Temple, In Takayama, Gifu, Japan Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 53488280
Style Characterized by modesty and asymmetry, this style led to the creation of more affordable and compact houses. Shonin-zukuri, with tatami floors and sliding screens, remain the basis of the traditional Japanese house.
When the shoji moved into the homes of ordinary people, the style and construction changed and perfected. In the Edo period (1603-1968), shoji appeared as it is today.
The processes and materials needed to make shoji have evolved and simplified over time. Today, they are either made by careful craftsmen or mass-produced in industrialized factories.
The main component of shoji screens is, of course, the paper cover, which is the Japanese style
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Paper (for more information, see What is Japanese Paper Wash? Everything you need to know). Washi is traditionally made from Japanese mulberry trees or bushes.
Paper was once considered precious and scarce because it was handmade from natural materials. However, commercial production beginning in the late 1800s and the introduction of synthetic fibers in the 1960s helped make paper more accessible and available.
The paper cover is stretched over a wooden or bamboo frame. Usually this is a simple grid form, but sometimes it has very intricate carvings and grids.
Shoji paper is thicker than writing paper, but as paper it is still somewhat fragile and difficult to repair. If you accidentally poke more than a small hole in it, you usually need to replace the paper. Therefore, modern shoji makers sometimes use a laminated or even acrylic paper cover to replace it entirely.
Paper Sliding Door Called Shoji Japanese Stock Photo 386078521
Shoji screens have two primary functions: utilitarian and creative. These are often assembled into works of art that protect against the elements at the same time. As a result, the structures will be beautiful and delicate, as well as strong and massive.
Being very thin and light, shoji screens function as room dividers or paper walls to create privacy without completely blocking out light and sound. They are more academic than curtains, but less impressive than wooden walls or solid doors. If a shoji screen breaks or tears, it is not difficult or expensive to replace it.
Washi paper creates a unique effect by refracting and scattering light. The rays that flow across the screen are soft and subdued, bright enough to light up a room, but dark enough not to blind you.
During the humid Japanese summer, the paper can be removed for better air circulation. Can be changed in winter for extra warmth.
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Sliding shoji doors and windows in Japanese houses can be removed from the rails and stored in a closet. Eliminating the doors makes the room larger, more open and more in tune with the surrounding spaces, such as the garden. This is easy, as Japanese sliding doors are typically so light that you can open them with a finger!
Making shoji paper and grid screens can be considered an art in itself due to the highly skilled level of craftsmanship. However, shoji screens are more than that.
Another way shoji becomes art is to show panoramic scenes. When open, the shoji windows provide a beautiful view, as you can see from the Hakone ryokan below. These windows, called yukimi, open to more than just snowy landscapes – gardens, streams, waterfalls, mountains, or any other view will do. These are often found in churches,
Shoji, of course, presents a large blank canvas, and who can resist the urge to make the art it gives! Let’s look at some options…
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Traditionally, the creation of Japanese shoji screens or fusama doors starts from the bottom, as people sit on the floor. The artwork was concentrated where it was visible at eye level. Graphics can cover the entire screen.
Painted shoji screens are often decorated with natural scenes. High mountains, regal peacocks and blooming flowers are common motifs.
Traditional Japanese buildings are the best places to find them. Painted shoji screens are especially common in ryokan and Buddhist temples.
Many temples in Kyoto are known for such works of art, including a temple in Higashiyama called Shoren-in. Shoren-in has a history of imperial patronage and was also used as a temporary palace, making its grounds impressive and vast.
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Shoren-in attracts visitors to the city for these reasons, as well as its particularly beautiful screenshots. Both are traditional
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