Tuesday, 12 January 2010

History of Japanese holding screens or deviders.

In Japanese house there are some special screens, or as the Japanese call them – Shoji screens! When one see this screen you perfectly know where he is and what a style of this room is.

History if these screens started at the times of Han dynasty (200BC – 200AD). They were made from paper, rice paper. They were seen at the most honorable and glorious events. There are a lot of variations of Shoji screens, some of them: fusuma and tobusuma.

Earlier such screens were used as partitions, brightly decorated with native paintings. They were rather heavy and made mainly from wood. They served many functions, being used as back stages while dances or performances, for tea ceremonies, to separate one room into different spaces. There were even different types of folding. By the way, despite there gentle and even subtle look, these screens are really durable and strong, it is achieved through the usage of unique technique.

With the development of trade between eastern and western countries, different objects from the East began flooding our countries. They were not just exotic and unusual, they were practical and durable. They brought light into our flats and homes. And they became popular, very popular. But we use them as decorations, beautiful details. We perfectly understand – they make us happy, they bedazzle us. It seems impossible, but somehow they create relaxing atmosphere and help to hide from the busyness of the outside world.

There exists another view onto Shoji screens, for a long period of time, they were used as objects, supporting walls. They have a wooden framework with a transparent rice paper on it. Often they are used together with special Shoji lamps.

As to my mind, the increasing popularity of Shoji screens and Japanese furniture at all, can be explained by its extraordinary calmness, simplicity, even peacefulness. They give us a feeling of tranquility and help to get rid of every day deals, work etc. They give us a calm oasis in the middle of big city hustle and bustle. I am fond of oriental furniture and their style! One day I would like to visit Japan!

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