shishimado 獅子窓
KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings
1 A large window in the front wall frame of a principal living room *hiroma 広間, adjacent to the earthfloored area *doma 土間, of traditional farmhouses nouka 農家, in the early Edo period in the Kantou 関東 region. The sill was usually about 50cm above the surface of the hiroma floor and the opening typically occupied half a bay *ken 間, on either side of the post at the center of the hiroma facade, making the opening a full bay in width. This was flanked on either side by a half bay panel of solid wall *sodekabe 袖壁. A lattice of sturdy vertical timber or bamboo take 竹, bars *koushi 格子, stabilized by a pair of horizontal members at mid-height filled the opening. Behind the lattice, the runners *shikii 敷居 or *kamoi 鴨居, had two grooves apiece, one for solid wooden sliding panels itado 板戸, and one for the translucent paper sliding panels *shouji 障子. The sliding panels *katabikido 片引戸, could be slid out of the way behind the sodekabe when not required. Tradition has it that shishimado were barred to provide protection against wild boar inoshishi 猪, and wolves ookami 狼, which were still common in the early Edo period countryside. They were widely used in farmhouses in the 17c - 18c, except in Chiba prefecture. Shishimado went out of use during the 18c, as houses became more open to the outside, and full height sliding doors and sliding rain shutters *amado 雨戸, came into use.

2 In the thatched roof of farmhouses in the Edo period in Akita and Yamagata prefectures, a window made in the roof to allow smoke to escape *kemuridashi 煙出, and as a source of light. The name is believed to be derived from a supposed resemblance to the head of a lion shishi 獅子. Also called *shishiguchi 獅子口.


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