joui 上居
KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings
Also written 常居.

1 A principal everyday living room in traditional vernacular houses *minka 民家 of the Edo period, in Touhoku 東北 (Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Akita prefectures) and in Hokkaidou 北海道. The term was used in farmhouses, nouka 農家, townhouses *machiya 町家, and in lesser warrior residences, buke yashiki 武家屋敷. By and large the joui was a room close to the earth-floored area *doma 土間, and was equipped with an open hearth cut in the floor around which meals were taken and guests equivalent in status to the householder, or his inferiors, were entertained. Its position and character varied somewhat according to house type and area. In the farmhouses and buke yashiki in Aomori prefecture, it was usually in the front part of the house, adjacent to the doma. In the farmhouses and buke yashiki in Iwate prefecture, by contrast, it was in the rear part. It was not primarily a food preparation space, since there was usually a kitchen *daidokoro 台所, with a raised timber floor projecting into the doma at the lower end of the house *shimote 下手. In machiya in Aomori prefecture, with their entries in the gable end facing the street, joui referred to the master's living room and was located immediately to the rear of the shop *mise 店, in front of the kitchen. Written 上居, the term is used in house plans dating from around 1757 from Hirosaki 弘前 in Aomori prefecture, to refer to an everyday living room equipped with a hearth *irori 囲炉裏, but with *tatami 畳 on the floors. In Akita prefecture, it was alternatively referred to as *oue 御上.

2 In vernacular houses in parts of Miyagi prefecture, a room in the front part at the high end *kamite 上手 of the house. It had *tatami 畳 and was used as a formal reception room *zashiki 座敷. An equivalent of the *dei 出居.


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