machinami 町並
KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings
Also pronounced chounami.

1 Streetscape in an urban area. The linear space defined by the street itself and the facades of the rows of buildings, walls, etc. that overlook it. Originally, applied to the streets of the merchant and artisan districts, where the facades of the urban vernacular houses *machiya 町家, generally more or less unbroken, lined the public thoroughfare directly. It has also recently come to be applied by researchers to the streetscapes of the former warrior districts, with their lines of walls and row houses *nagaya 長屋, punctuated with gates. The term has come to include the interiors of plots abutting the street, and the entire physical configuration or morphology of an urban district: the road and the buildings and plots lining it.

2 In the Edo period, a particular category of *yuujoya 遊女屋 or house for courtesans and female entertainers in * Yoshiwara 吉原, the pleasure district of Edo. Smaller and lower in status than the oomagaki 大籬 and hanmagaki 半籬, it had a street facade of less than 10 *ken 間. The courtesans were visible through a lattice screen *koushi 格子, which ran along the street front, and was only 2 shaku 尺 (60.6cm) high. Machinami were also known as oomachi komise 大町小店 (the small shops of the main streets). In 1843, it is recorded that there were 64 machinami, 17 hanmagaki and 1 soumagaki 総籬 in Yoshiwara.


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