miseoku 店奥
KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings
Lit. beyond the shop. A term used most commonly in the Kinai 畿内 district and Kii 紀伊 (Wakayama prefecture), during the Edo period. The room at the front of the outer *kamite 上手, row of rooms in town houses *machiya 町家 with a front facade *maguchi 間口, wide enough to have two rows of raised-floor living rooms parallel to the earthen area *doma 土間, overlooking the street and adjacent to the shop *mise 店. The traditional character of this space is best illustrated by examples in Imaichou 今井町, in Nara, where it is clear from a surviving plan that the term was in use at the beginning of the 18c. Unlike the openable mise, the miseoku was usually closed to the street behind panels of lattice *koushi 格子. The floor was usually covered with straw mats *tatami 畳, and often a step higher that the mise. The miseoku seems to have served as an inner office for the merchant or artisan householder, where records and valuables could be kept, and sometimes as a reception space for meeting important clients. The miseoku at the Imanishi 今西 house in Imaichou has a decorative alcove *tokonoma 床の間 . Alternatively referred to as mise-no-oku 店の奥, okumise 奥店.


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