Have you ever seen a Doraemon cartoon? Do you remember the concept of a traditional Japanese house that uses woven floors and sliding doors? The traditional Japanese house is indeed one type of architecture that has an interesting peculiarity. In fact, traditional elements of Japanese houses are still being applied to modern Japanese-style residences.
The traditional house, which is commonly referred to as the Minka, is a zen-style building with the main material of wood. One of the reasons why the main material is wood because Japan is prone to earthquakes and wood can minimize damage to houses. let’s take a look at eight elements of a typical Japanese traditional house.
The first room you will see when visiting a Japanese house is the Genkan area, which is the area inside the house that is located after the main door which is lower than the floor of the house. This space serves as a transition between outside and inside the house.
Here are the elements that characterize the Japanese house. Tatami is a typical floor in a traditional Japanese house made from woven Igusa straw. This material is used because it can make the house feel cooler in the summer, but still warm in winter. As one of the distinctive elements of a very popular Japanese house, tatami is still often found in modern Japanese houses today.
Washitsu is a tatami room in a traditional Japanese building. The size of a room can be measured by the number of tatami used on the floor. Even though a washitsu is a multipurpose room for various purposes, there is one main washitsu which is called zashiki. Zashiki is in the interior of the house and is used as a living room.
The washitsu function will change depending on what household appliance is used. Washitsu can turn into a study room when a table is placed, it can also be transformed into a bedroom when a futon (sleeping mat) is placed, and a dining room when a large table is placed.
In Japanese houses, you can also find a corridor outside the house before entering the inside of the house. This element in a Japanese house is called Engawa. Engawa serves to separate the inside of the house from the outside of the house. Engawa is so common that you will often see it in Japanese films or cartoons.
- Mushiko Mado
Another distinctive feature of traditional Japanese architecture is the use of sliding doors. In the main door, Mushiko Mado is generally used, which is a sliding door that has small gaps. Apart from the Mushiko Mado, there are also Shoji sliding doors that have large gaps but are coated with paper to provide light from outside the house.
Entering a room in a Japanese house, you will find a floor on one side of the room that has a different level. This part is known as Tokonama, which is usually used to place artistic decorations such as paintings, ikebana flower arrangements, and the like.
The next distinctive element is Byobu. Byobu is a folding room partition that is used to separate space. In addition to separating the space, Byobu is generally made with artistic paintings typical of Japanese houses. Until now, Byobu is still in great demand and used as a decorative element because of the beauty of his art.
- Architecture dominated by wood
Traditional Japanese architecture values the relationship between buildings and nature. You can see the natural side of a Japanese house from the many uses of wood materials. Wood materials generally do not have a finish, other than the coating that is applied to the durability of wood. The natural appearance of wood grain and color is precisely the natural aesthetic value of a traditional Japanese house.
Isn’t that beautiful? Naturally, traditional Japanese houses are usually very comfortable to live in because of their minimalist design and natural elements used. Is there an element that you would like to apply to your home?