heya 部屋
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
1 A room specifically designated for the use of a particular person or a group of people of the same status or occupation in the residences of the aristocracy kizoku 貴族, and later in those of the shogun and warrior class bushi 武士 from the Heian period onward. Thus the common room used by lesser servants in Kuroudodokoro 蔵人所 of Dairi 内裏 Kyoto Gosho 京都御所 was called heya.

2 An alternative word for the female servants quarters, tsubone 局, in an upper class residence.

3 In the residence of the later Muromachi shogun from the time of Ashikaga Yoshimasa 足利義政 (1436-90), a room used by members of the shogun's household who kept watch around his sleeping chamber *shinjo 寝所 at night.

4 In the Edo period shogun's residence, and in the residences of Edo period feudal lords daimyou 大名, the offices of administrative officials and household servants. The term was usually prefixed by the title of the appropriate official: thus koshoubeya 小姓部屋 for the pages' koshou 小姓 room, and bouzubeya 坊主部屋 for that of the chabouzu 茶坊主 (butler cum waiter). Heya was also used for the quarters assigned to more menial servants, such as ninsoku 人足, who ran errands.

5 In warrior residences bukeyashiki 武家屋敷 of the Edo period, the room of an unmarried legitimate child who had not yet received a share of the family estate or been set up in an establishment of his own.

6 In vernacular houses *minka 民家 of the Edo period, a room used for sleeping and for storing belongings. In some cases it was used to denote the room where the master and mistress of the house slept, changed their clothes and kept valuables, called *nando 納戸 or *choudai 帳台. In other cases it might refer to a room used by servants or dependents, in which case it was often preceded by the person's job title: jochuubeya 女中部屋 (maidservant's room), and *tomobeya 伴部屋 or genanbeya 下男部屋 (male servant's room). The location of these servants' rooms varied, but they were often in a loft or a corner of the earthfloored area *doma 土間. Sometimes such servant accommodation might be provided within an outer building, such as a gatehouse nagayamon 長屋門.

7 A room, either within the main house or in an ancillary building, or independent structure in which a specific activity was or carried out or class of things was stored. The term heya was preceded by whatever was stored in it: misobeya 味噌部屋 for miso (fermented soy-bean paste), makibeya 薪部屋 for maki (firewood), etc.

8 In vernacular houses *minka 民家 in Nara and Wakayama prefectures, term for a freestanding adjunct to the main house hanareya 離れ屋, often a guest reception suite, hanare zashiki 離れ座敷.

9 In vernacular houses in Yamaguchi, Saga and Tokushima prefectures, a retirement house for elderly parents inkyobeya 隠居部屋, often located in the far corner of the earthfloored area *doma 土間.

10 In the 1633 survey of property in the Higo 肥後 fief (Kumamoto prefectures) called HIGO HAN JINCHIKU ARATAME CHOU 肥後藩人畜改帳, a freestanding hut ancillary to a vernacular houses for housing dependents. Sometimes the identity of the inmates is specified, as in oya-no-heya おやのへや (parents' hut), musuko-no-heya むすこのへや, (son's hut) etc. The most common size was 2 bays x 4 bays. Apparently distinguished from a house (ie 家, *hon'ya 本屋) by the lack of its own cooking facilities.

11 In vernacular houses in parts of Hiroshima, Shimane and Saga prefectures, a term for a newly independent branch of a family bunke 分家.

12 In parts of Yamaguchi prefecture, a rented house or lodging.

13 In modern usage heya is generally used as the equivalent of the English word room, and although this usage is comparatively recent, it is often encountered in modern descriptions of historic structures.


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