choudai-no-ma 帳台の間
KEY WORD : architecture / aristocratic dwellings
A small enclosed room in a large *shoin 書院 style structure built in the Muromachi and early Edo periods. An example survives in the Ni-no-maru Goten 二の丸御殿 at Nijoujou 二条城 in Kyoto (ca.1624-26). At Nijoujou, each of the main halls ; Toozamurai 遠侍, Oohiroma 大広間, Kuroshoin 黒書院, Shiroshoin 白書院, has a choudai-no-ma and in each case it is the smallest and plainest room in the building. The rooms are enclosed on three sides by other rooms and have very few openings. The main entry in each case takes the form of an elaborate ornamental doorway *choudaigamae 帳台構え, with a raised threshold and a pair of single sliding door *katabikido 片引戸 with flanking panels *sodekabe 袖壁. The choudaigamae are set in the side wall of the most prestigious room in the structure, the joudan-no-ma 上段の間 (see *joudan 上段) or dais, where the lord sat when giving an audience. The only other entry to the choudai-no-ma was from the broad veranda *hiroen 広縁. It is said that guards were hidden in the choudai-no-ma to foil assassination attempts on the lord during an audience (there is no proof of this but the equivalent room beyond the choudaigamae in the early 17c Shinden 寝殿 at Daigoji Sanbouin 醍醐寺三宝院 is called Mushakakushi-no-ma 武者隠しの間 (Room for concealing warriors). By the 17c it was no longer used for sleeping by members of the ruling class, but there is no doubt that the choudai-no-ma evolved from the master's sleeping room, and that its origins are in the *choudai 帳台. In some other shouin style structures of comparable date, the equivalent space is called *nando 納戸.


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