Lifestyle of ancient times has been changing in Japan just like it has in Europe and the US. Within this trend, we search for the possibility of how Japanese elements influence modern Japanese people's lifestyle by having another look at "Japanese touch."
Japanese housing has been changing according to the climate of high temperature and high humidity. The housing has a basic structure where the floor is elevated from the ground and flooring. The main houses where nobles lived from ancient times to medieval times had no walls in the house and the space was divided by furniture according to its various purposes. Afterwards, rooms limited to the different purposes emerged, like a library structure which is called the prototype of the current tatami room. This had developed and a house with a tea room where people can communicate without any formality while adoring the nature had evolved. Also, a tea room which is a minimal space without any decorations became the room consolidated with aesthetic feelings. Moreover, urbane houses of common people had developed as a store/residence. In these tradesmen's houses, the part which faces the road is store and in the back, there was a residential space. Since the house had a depth, a courtyard was established to secure ventilation and sun exposure.
By looking back at history, it's apparent there is a characteristic that has been passed on through generations for more than 10 thousand years, amongst Japanese residences. Among those characteristics are a liberating feeling from a structure with pillars and beams and no walls, intermediate regions subtly connecting the indoor and the outside like veranda-like porches, earthen floors and courtyards, the living room alcove which brings depth and not function as a decoration, fixtures instead of fixed walls "Shoji"(Japanese traditional paper panel doors) , "Fusuma" (sliding doors), and gratings that can open and close, and a garden where four seasons can be enjoyed. Japanese housings express people's hearts of adoring nature and their relationships with people. "Japanese-style" is not the form but the spirit that lies within. Through reexamining the Japanese spirit that has been passed on through generations unconsciously, it creates the catalyst to create a well-rounded residence.
I Residence Architect／Matsuyama Architect and Associates