Japanese furniture have many kind of appearance such as tansu cabinet, futon, tatami, kotatsu, zafu or zabuton, … If you have problems in researching basic knowledge, let’s check this article now.
Japanese Furniture: History and Style
Imagine that every single thing you own has a purpose and a location, and you are getting closer to envisioning a traditional Japanese household. The Japanese interior design culture is careful and thoughtful. Each device, while simple, has a function and elegance that enhances the living area of the house it belongs to. This lesson will focus on Japanese interior style and history.
If you look at the interior of a Japanese family, the first word that comes to your mind is probably ‘sparse’. This is because in traditional Japanese houses, from past to present, very little furniture for sitting or sleeping. Without a chair or bed, the Japanese often use the floor for sitting and sleeping. This is because the Japanese believe in the concept of ghosts, or negative space, and desire simplicity. Objects will be placed very far apart, as the Japanese believe that this space encourages creativity.
Another common feature of households in Japan is the concept of internal and external space. Screens, called shoji are used to close or open rooms together and with the outside. This linked nature with the inside of their living space.
Parts (byobu / tsuitate)
Byobu (shown on image) are movable bulkheads arranged in a zigzag pattern so that the panels stand without the need for additional supports. Another type of free-standing partitions, called tsuitate, are single plates supported by the legs. Both types of partitions are different in size to divide the room, enhance privacy or prevent drafts. Partition walls have many different designs from simple to high-priced collectors to adorn famous paintings.
Low tables are used in traditional Japanese rooms, as sitting on the floor is a common habit there. During the colder months of the year, warm dining tables (kotatsu) are very popular. They are covered with a blanket and heating underneath.
Large cushions are used to sit on the floor in a tatami room. In some cases, the cushion is placed on the low leg without the legs (zaisu, see photo) to provide some support to the back. Note that stepping on a mattress is not considered impolite.
Futon is a traditional Japanese mattress that is placed directly on a tatami floor. They are stored in the cupboard during the day and taken out in the evening after dinner. Guests can experience futon bedding at hotels like ryokans and minshuku.