shimote 下手
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
Lit. Lower hand, A position or seat, of lower rank, or comparatively inferior position in a hierarchy. In traditional Japanese theater, the shimote is stage right (but since, unlike Westerners, the Japanese specify stage directions from the spectators' viewpoint, they would say it was on the left). As part of an architectural layout, the shimote is the end of the room or the space in a sequence of connected spaces which is of lowest status, usually the space closest to the entrance. Thus in a formal *shoin 書院 style reception suite, the shimote space is usually the entrance vestibule *genkan 玄関. In traditional vernacular houses *minka 民家 of the Edo period, the shimote end of the house is usually occupied by the earth-floored service area *doma 土間 and the stable *umaya 馬屋. Houses with the doma at the right hand side of the building as one faces it migikatte 右勝手 are the most common. One space is often described as being shimote in respect to another, and this becomes a convenient way of describing the relative positions of rooms within a building or buildings within a complex. The opposite of shimote is *kamite 上手 (upper hand).


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