Minka Traditional Japanese residences are known as minka, and they are frequently what people see when they think of a Japanese style house. This features tatami mats, sliding doors, and a wooden veranda that wraps around the house. The interior is also very traditional, with kakemono (portraits) hung on the walls and shoji (sliding screens) for decoration. There are also some modern houses built after World War II that follow this style.
The word "mansion" can be used to describe a large Japanese home, but it is not commonly used. A mansion in Japan would be considered too big for just one family.
Mikata-yasui is the official term for "one floor" or "ground floor" in English. It refers to the first level of a building, such as an office building or shopping mall. The kami-masa (sacred space) is on the first floor, so this is where people should go if they want to pray at a temple or church.
In Japan, you will usually find the address written on the door instead of in the street. You don't need to worry about walking into traffic or falling over broken glass because there are security guards who will warn you if someone is coming. They will even call your name if you aren't watching out for them.
Tatami mat flooring, sliding doors, and wooden engawa verandas distinguish minka, or traditional Japanese dwellings. Shoes are removed and placed in the getabako—a cabinet named after geta, or wooden clogs, which were historically popular among Japanese people. A tatami room can be any space of about 1,200 square feet (110 sq m), such as an entire apartment, or a separate room. In larger houses, tatami rooms may be used as dressing rooms or offices.
In smaller homes, especially in rural areas, it is common to find what is known as a shoji-yado, or "shoji apartment," which consists of a series of small private rooms separated by thin walls or panels of wood or paper. Each room has its own entrance, but they all open onto a central corridor. The shoji are usually made of rice paper or wood and are always color-coordinated with the house exterior; red for protection against evil, white for peace, and green for growing things.
Shoji are traditionally used instead of windows because they are an important element in the architecture of a Japanese home. They allow in light but not rain, wind, or snow. In the winter, they also help keep out heat.
Traditional dwellings Aside from the entrance area (genkan, Xuan Guan), kitchen, bathroom, and toilet, each room in a typical Japanese house has no specific purpose. A living room, dining room, study, or bedroom can be in any room. There must be space to walk around each room, but that's about it for requirements for housing construction.
Living rooms are used for socializing with family and friends. They usually have comfortable seating and a TV. Eating meals together at the kitchen table is also common practice. Living rooms may have a separate section for keeping your shoes off so you don't track dirt into other parts of the house.
In recent years, many Japanese homeowners have started using some of their rooms in other ways. The study has become popular again because people like having a place where they can work alone or with others. Some use their bedrooms as studios where they paint or play an instrument. These changes are good because they allow people to express themselves in different ways.
All in all, Japanese houses do not need a special name because they serve the same function as other types of houses. However, if you are looking at old photographs or drawings of Japanese houses, make sure to check the status of each one to see what kind of room it has today.
A traditional Japanese house's entryway is composed of three tiers. The first is the tataki, which is located on the ground level just beyond the entry door. It is usually built of concrete nowadays, but in the past, the pounded tataki floor was composed of earth, lime, and bittern. This pounding floor is also known as a "doma." The second tier is the habari, which is a platform enclosed by a wall that projects out from the side of the main house. This wall can be found anywhere from one to four stories high, depending on the size of the house. At the top of this wall is a roof that covers an inner courtyard or other outdoor space. The third and final tier is the matsuri, which is a flat area used for entertaining guests or displaying items such as swords or armor. These floors are usually wooden boards that extend horizontally across the room.
In addition to these three entrance levels, many more may exist within the house. For example, in some larger houses it's possible to find a fourth floor with rooms called yagura or watchtowers because they offer views of the surrounding area. There may also be upper floors that contain private rooms called sekihan where family members could stay alone or together. All together, these additional floors and levels make up the manshon, which is Japanese for "multiple dwellings".
The average Japanese house stands about 5 meters (16 feet) wide and 15-20 meters (50-70 feet) long.
In my limited experience with the interiors of modern Japanese houses, sliding panels are mainly restricted to the tatami room and closets, but some houses are still created that take use of their outstanding versatility. Western-inspired dwellings are uncommon, but not entirely missing.
Generally, these rooms are very simple and functional. The closet might have a shelf for clothes, but it's usually not large enough to need additional storage solutions. The tatami room can be used as a living room or a bedroom, depending on how it is arranged. Here too, the size is usually not sufficient to need extra storage.
I guess you know what I'm getting at: There aren't many decorative elements inside modern Japanese houses, which is why they look so plain. Even if these rooms were decorated, they wouldn't have much space for that!
However, there is one exception: The entrance hall. The entrance hall is where people hang up their shoes and coats, and sometimes even leave small gifts for other members of the family. It is also the place where we signal our arrival by knocking on the door.
Modern Japanese houses don't have doors that close, which means that the entrance hall is really important.
In a typical Japanese home, there are no chairs or beds. You sit and sleep on the floor with the help of cushions and futon bedding. Before Western-style houses became popular, Japanese rooms were divided by sliding paper screens called shoji or fusuma rather than doors and windows. The most important item in a Japanese room is the tatami mat, which is used for everything from carpeting the floor to covering furniture.
There are two types of tatami mats: those made from rice straw that are natural white or beige (the color comes from a dye they contain) and those made from wood pulp that are brownish black. Both types can be woven with geometric patterns. The darker color of the mat makes it more durable and able to withstand wear and tear.
Besides being used for floor coverings, tatami mats also serve as walls. When not in use, they are stored under the bed.
A Japanese room should have a soft, subtle atmosphere where you can relax and unwind. There should be no need for lights off the floor or table lamps since everything necessary for nighttime entertainment is provided by nightlights called bōzu chandeliers. These decorative light fixtures look like large vases filled with candles that give off a warm glow. They are usually made of ceramic or glass and can be placed on tables or hung from the ceiling.