elementech.me – Japanese culture is a balance between the opposite elements of nature, which are often referred to as yin and yang. This is true in all aspects of life, including the interior. The Japanese interior character, as seen today, was born in the Kamakura period, a time when zen teachings began to emerge.
A common impression seen in Japanese interiors is simplicity, harmony, and efficiency – effectiveness. This impression is closely related to the teaching of simplicity in zen that depicts emptiness or silence to better live the greatness of the creator. Furthermore, the interior is an affirmation of its architecture, so the impression captured from the Japanese interior is a geometric feel.
Representation of Nature
When you enter a traditional Japanese house, you will see rooms without furniture with mats that form certain geometric patterns, plus thin walls with trundle doors. Traditional Japanese houses don’t use complicated ornaments much. The interior is also processed according to as it is the materials used, namely wood or bamboo and paper. This is in line with the concept of Japanese buildings that wherever possible “incorporate” nature into the building.
Another form of proximity to nature is the representation of the shape of furniture or building elements that mimic the natural form. For example, the shape of the rounded window is often identified with the Japanese interior. This window is called a moon window that depicts the shape of a full moon. Japanese-style window grilles are also close to nature, the lattice called shitaji-mado is made of bamboo. Many are found in garden buildings or tea houses. Users of these grids create a more private room but still allow for an outdoor view to provide good air circulation and incorporate nature into the room.
Effective – efficient
In addition to simplicity, the Japanese interior also shows the concept of efficiency and effectiveness, such as on the door in the form of a wheelbarrow, the arrangement of tatami mats, and the arrangement of space in it. The Sorong door is very efficient and effective because does not “eat” the space in front of behind it.
This trundle door is called shoji and is made of wood or bamboo and paper merang which is very thin and can pass on the light. Its function is to coat the first door made of wood and glass. Traditional shoji has a height of 1.8 m and a width of 0.94, there are various kinds of shoji whose shape is adapted to events or celebrations.
The concept of efficiency–effective is also reflected in the use of bulkheads that are sometimes not permanent and can be changed according to the wishes of the owner. This indicates that space can change its function at any time and dynamic according to its needs. Thus, when reviewed from the point of view of its use, effectively and efficiently.
One of the most prominent features of Japanese interiors is the floor that uses geometric patterns arranged based on tatami mat patterns. Tatami is a kind of mat used as capital for the floor so the area of space is very dependent on the number of arrangements of this tatami pattern.
In addition to being a floor covering, this mat can be used for seating, sleeping, and table coverings. If this mat is used as a seat, it should be stacked into several layers, where the height of the pile indicates the status of the occupant sitting on it.
Tatami is usually two layers of woven straw tied with a rope of wood fibers. The first layer is sewn into the second layer with thread. One tatami mat measures approximately 3 feet x 6 feet with a thickness of 1.75 – 2.5 inches. The tatami is soft enough to lie down and hard enough to step on. Because tatami is a pedestal used to sit and sleep, people usually take off their shoes or sandals and leave them on the entrance stairs. And in the house, there are usually soft sandals from the fabric called tabi.
Colors and materials
Japanese interiors generally use neutral and natural colors to create a simple background to bring out the small number of interior elements in the room. In addition, neutral and natural colors give the room a sense of spaciousness and spaciousness. This is important in Japanese interior design which refers to the philosophy of simplicity. If there is a focal point or point of interest in the Japanese interior, it will generally be expressed with a striking color or the dominance of a texture.
The colors that are widely used are white and light brown. These colors are usually of a matte type (not shiny). It can be said that the colors used in Japanese interiors are pure and for one room, generally use one color. New color combinations or colors obtained from color mixing, rarely used. Black in the Japanese interior is an important color because it emphasizes the character of the shape and space.
Materials used in Japanese interiors are generally raw materials without excessive finishing. The use of this raw material produces a calm and soft impression in the room. For example, tatami on the floor made of light green and fragrant straw, walls of paper, colored wood or clay, and roof construction of bamboo or sponged wood.
Texture and contrast
As mentioned earlier, Japanese culture always strives for the balance of yin and yang in all aspects of life. Therefore, in the Japanese interior, the finishing touches of a room can look very contrasting and opposite the balance of yin and yang earlier. For example, on a smooth, perfectly polished wooden floor, a rough-textured base is laid out. Or a shiny lacquered box, placed on a table made of coarse wood.
Some materials that are widely used in Japanese interiors because of their beautiful texture are cedarwood, merang paper (rice straw), bamboo, stone, wicker rattan, silk, etc. Each of these materials produces its texture that can be combined to create yin and yang harmony.
In a Japanese interior, the focal point of a room is part of the room itself. Japanese interior rooms generally have tokonoma. It is a small niche on the wall (a kind of shelf built-in on the wall) that becomes a kind of altar to put on display. Generally, tokonoma is placed in jodan. Jodan is part of a room whose floors are made taller.
The objects displayed in the tokonoma are certain. Usually a series of ikebana, Japanese calligraphy paintings, or landscape paintings in black and white. Some put natural objects such as uniquely shaped pieces of wood, or a number of rocks. Objects displayed in tokonoma are usually adapted to the season, holidays, or guests to come.
Usually, the objects displayed by tokonoma will change after some time, for example after one week. The rotation of these displays is due to the limited space and minimalist understanding of zen culture. In addition, a limited number of displays can also be related to quality issues (it is better to have fewer items but special quality than many items but poor quality). Or also the objects on display are mostly handmade that certainly can not be in mass production.
Tokonoma was originally an altar of worship at the zen priest’s residence. The original form was a small wooden table low in the corner of the room where incense burners, candles, and vases were placed as a mark of respect to the creator. When many Japanese people follow this teaching, then their home adopts this form of the tokonoma. This is because, in Zen teachings, the house becomes a place of worship to the creator. In its development, the altar “embedded” in the wall was used to place objects of art.
A concept in Japanese interior: minimal is “more” and regularity is harmony, where all objects must be located regularly in their respective positions. Therefore, furniture in Japanese interior space is usually only the right one – banner is needed and each piece of furniture can generally double. For example, futons are commonly used as a seat mat and bedding.
Due to the minimum number of parabots, the Japanese interior styling style resulted in a room that was impressively clean and spacious. Japanese interiors do not use many decorative elements (displays). The character of the room is more determined by the building materials of the room such as tatami which is light green, the door of the wheelbarrow of wood or bamboo, and merang paper that is white and garden that is visible from within the room. If you want to add a display, choose one that reinforces the Japanese character in the room such as kimono, Japanese doll, or paper lantern.
To apply the Japanese interior style, you must prepare storage at home. Items that can be seen and seen in the room are only items that are important and needed. While the other items must be stored well in storage.
In principle, only one item is visible at a time, so that its beauty can be exposed perfectly without the influence of other items located nearby.
Another feature of the Japanese interior room is the window which is big enough to see the view outside. This is due to the limited land for housing in Japan which causes the narrowness of the space in the house.
This large window is a “resourceful “ Japanese people to give the impression of open and relieved in the room because it can still see the blue sky outside. Common sense is often referred to as the concept of borrowed scenery or borrowing a view outside to beautify the room.
Another distinctive feature of Japanese interiors is low-sized seating and tables. As we know, Japan’s nature is often shaken by earthquakes. Therefore, the structure of the house is made not too high. As a consequence the ceiling – the ceiling of the house becomes low. So that the room does not feel full, then choose a seat and a table that is not too high.
Even with tatami, there is no need for a seat anymore. In its development, many applications of Japanese interiors use carpets to coat the floor and as a seated mat in the use of pillows – large pillows. The following table seats are placed by the window so that while sitting, people can still enjoy the view outside. Therefore, generally, the doors in Japan install clear glass at the bottom and ice glass at the top of the door. The height of this clear glass is adjusted to the level of the eyes of the person sitting.