|KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings|
name given to a room plan common in vernacular houses *minka
民家, particularly farmhouses nouka 農家, during the Edo period.
The plan is characterized by a large central multipurpose living room *hiroma
広間, occupying the entire cross section of the building. The hiroma occupies the
center of the plan, abutting the earth-floored area, *doma
土間 at the lower end of the house *shimote
下手, on one side, and a raised floor living room at the upper end of the house
*kamite 上手, on the other.
The number of rooms at the upper end beyond the hiroma varies: most commonly
there are two, but sometimes there are three or four rooms. The hiroma＋two
variant is known as the three-room hiroma type, hiromagata mimadori
(or sanmadori) 広間型三間取り, the other two rooms being a formal reception room,
often called *dei 出居, at the
front of the house and an enclosed sleeping room or storeroom or backroom *nando
納戸, to the rear. Until the 1950s it was thought that the farmhouse type with a
regular four-room, tanojigata 田の字型, plan represented the archetypal minka
layout, but postwar research revealed that the hiromagata mimadori
preceded it in many areas, and that many hiromagata houses were later converted
to the four room plan by partitioning the hiroma into two rooms. Although there
are regional variations, the hiromagata mimadori plan is now recognized
as one of the most widely distributed of surviving minka layouts. In the
Edo period, especially from the late 17c - early 18c, it was the house type of
relatively prosperous middle ranking farmers and village headmen, shouya
庄屋 or nanushi 名主, especially in the Kantou 関東, parts of Touhoku 東北, Chubu
中部 and Western Honshuu 本州. It was less common in Kyuushuu 九州 and Shikoku 四国, and
very rare in the Kinki 近畿 district. At one time the nakanema mimadori 中ねま三間取り
houses of Shikoku were regarded as a subtype of hiromagata, but it is now
considered more appropriate to regard them as a separate category.
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