|KEY WORD :@architecture / aristocratic dwellings, folk dwellings|
low four-legged table used in the Kamakura and early Muromachi periods in
upper class priestly and lay residences as a stand for writing materials,
or the so-called three writing implements mitsugusoku Oο«: a censer
*kouro F, a flower
vase kabin Τr and a candlestick shokudai Cδ. When buddhist
religious paintings butsuga §ζ were hung against a wall for worship
in priestly residences, it was customary to place these three items on the
oshi-ita in front of them, as shown by scenes in medieval handscrolls
*emaki Gͺ such as
the mid-14c part of The Pictorical Scroll of Yearning for Extincton
Boki Ekotoba ηAG reveal. The arrangement is believed to have been
extended to hanging secular pictures over the oshi-ita, as hanging
|¨ became increasingly popular among the elite during the 14c.
2@Muromachi and Momoyama periods precursor of the decorative recess *tokonoma °ΜΤ of the mature *shoin @ style reception room. Like the mature tokonoma it was a built-in alcove or recess framed between a pair of posts. It was often two or three bays wide but it was comparatively shallow at 1/4 of a bay or about 60cm in depth, depending on the size of the bay, as described in the Momoyama period master carpenter's handbook *SHOUMEI Ύ. The baseboard was a single piece of timber which, again according to SHOUMEI, was as thick as the width of a post minus the bevelled zone at the corners (about 8-10cm). The surface of the oshi-ita shelf was equal to two post diameters above the floor level and, unlike the mature tokonoma, had a narrow band of plastered infill *kokabe ¬Η between the baseboard and the floor. At the top however the arrangement of the lintel *otoshigake |, was similar to that of the mature tokonoma. This type of oshi-ita is believed to represent a built-in permanent version of the table described at definition one above. The built-in type came to be known as tokooshi-ita °Β, and the freestanding type as okioshi-ita u«Β. The terms appear in a latter section of Boki Ekotoba (latter half of 15c), and this, together with other evidence suggests that the built-in oshi-ita was a product of the mid-15c. It was used in the room of highest status in a suite of reception rooms. Its replacement by the mature tokonoma design with a depth of half a bay and low threshold *tokogamachi °y took place during the first half of the 17c.
Inuyamajou Tenshu ’RιVη (Aichi)
3@The baseboard ji-ita nΒ of the tokooshi-ita °Β (see above).
4@In farmhouses nouka _Ζ, of the late 17c to mid-18c in the Kantou Φ region, in Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, and in parts of Kyuushuu γB, a shallow built-in recess usually located in the main everyday living room *hiroma LΤ. In houses with the three room hiroma plan hiromagata mimadori LΤ^OΤζ, it was positioned adjacent to the entrance of the sleeping room *nema QΤ, *nando [Λ, to the rear of the master's seat *yokoza ‘ΐ. Occasionally it was located in the back wall of the formal reception room *dei o where its use prefigures the later appearance of the true decorative alcove *tokonoma °ΜΤ in farmhouses. The oshi-ita varied in width from half a bay (90cm) to a full bay (180cm). The recess was usually very shallow, the baseboard being no wider than the depth of the posts (about 15cm), though there are a few examples in Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures in which the recess is deeper and projects into the sleeping room behind it. The top surface of the baseboard was about 20cm above the level of the floor on average, and a small storage cupboard *jibukuro nά with sliding doors was sometimes provided beneath it. The back wall was panelled in timber. The precise use of the oshi-ita when first constructed is obscure, but since today protective prayer sheets kitoufuda FD are hung there, incense offerings are made to it and the household shrine *kamidana _I is often situated immediately above the oshi-ita, it is virtually certain that it was used for religious rituals and festivals that related to the tutelary deities and dead ancestors of the household. When the four room plan tanojigata cΜ^ began to replace the hiroma type farmhouse from the latter half of the 18c, the oshi-ita ceased to be constructed. The farmhouse oshi-ita has a number of alternative names, including *teppoudoko SC°, oshidoko °, and simply tokonoma.
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