CULTURE

Traditional Japanese Architecture. The Alcove, Tokonoma.

2013.05.10 [CULTURE,WHAT'S NEW]

Traditional Japanese Architecture. The Alcove, Tokonoma.

 

Tokonoma, also known simply as toko, are an alcove like, slightly elevated wall space where pictorial
or calligraphic scrolls could be hung and flower arrangements, treasured pottery or incense burners
would be displayed. The tokonaoma are traditionally highly respected places within the home.
While standing or sitting within the tokonoma is strictly taboo, to be seated in a position before,
or close to the tokonoma was a great sign of respect.

 

 

Tokonoma first appeared in the late Muromachi period, and usually feature at least one Toko-bashira,
a pillar of natural wood, often a much knotted piece with the bark still attached, or a very fine, straight
grained piece of timber.

 

Often staggered shelving, called Chigaidana are incorporated into the tokonoma, and both are usually
of symmetrical design.

 


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