SILK-SCREEN EMBROIDERIES PAINTINGS FRAMES
Traditional Japanese Houses
Traditional Japanese houses are basically made of wood, bamboo, mud, paper and roof tiles, and they are flexible. While rooms in western houses tend to have fixed functions, rooms in traditional Japanese houses can be used for various functions. Any room can be a living room, a dining room, or a bedroom. This is possible because most Japanese furniture is portable. For example, the futon, sliding paper doors called fusuma can be removaed or added to make rooms of different sizes. This is very convenient when unexpected guest arrive!
A visit to Fukazen
In the middle of Kurazukuri Street with its rows of "storehouse" buildings, there is a dignified building which houses a shop called Fukazen. The storekeepers welcomed us kindly and rtold to us.
This shop was established 240 years ago to sell writing paper, writing brushes, Shoji paper, Fusuma, and Byobu (folding screens). At present, they mainly sell hanging scrolls, frames, and Shikishi, a large square card used to write poems or to paint pictures. Shikishi are popular among foreign travelers because of the reasonable price and art depicted on them and hanging scrolls are also popular among them.
The building which houses Fukazen is now very valuable. It was built afer the great Kawagoe-fire in 1894. It took almost three years to rebuild and cost a great deal at the time.
The number of shops which sell traditional Japanese goods is decreasing because people do not build traditional Japanese houses anymore.
However, Fukazen's owner vows to preserve Japanese tradition and the spirit of Kawagoe merchants.
When hanging scrolls first came from China, they had Buddhist themes, but they quickly lost their religious aspects. Painted artwork is mounted on cloth or paper and hung on the wall of traditional "pocket room" called Tokonoma in Japanese.
In western interiors, people prefer to display their favarite artwork for a long time. However, Japanese change their hanging scrolls to suit the seasons or the occasions. For example, if you want to enjoy spring, it is better to hang painting of plum or cherry blossoms. Autumn foliage and persimmons are popular in autumn.
Have you ever seen a tokonoma in a traditional Japanese room? It looks like an alcove and it was originally used for workship. Later, however, it became the place for hanging paintings or calligraphy and for displaying flower arrangements. Japanese formerly made a great distinction between format or special and everyday occasions. The room which had a tokonoma was used for guests and on special occasions. The room is composed of straw tatami mats, pillars, and shoji or fusuma. Today, however, this distinction is not clear and many houses do not have a room with a tokonoma.
We speak English and Chinese, and feel free to come to our store, please. Thank you.
7-4, Saiwaichou, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-0063, Japan
Business hours 9:30 - 18:00
Regular holiday Wednesday, second and forth Tuesday
Copyright (C) Fukazen Art All Rights Reserved.