japanese interior design


  • The influence of Japanese design was thus not so much that it was directly copied but rather, “the west discovered the quality of space in traditional Japanese architecture
    through a filter of western architectural values”.

  • A recessed space called tokonoma is often present in traditional as well as modern Japanese living rooms.

  • [96] The culture that created traditional Japanese architecture is so far removed from Western values philosophies of life that it could not be directly applied in a design

  • [93] This spilled into a broader interacting with the modern world, which in terms of interior design, resulted in the introduction of western style interiors, while the vernacular
    style came to be more associated with tradition and the past.

  • The use of paper, or washi, in Japanese buildings is a main component in the beauty and atmosphere of the Japanese interior, the way variation of shadow combines to create
    a “mystery of shadows”.

  • [93] The typical interiors found in Japanese homes and western homes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were vastly different with almost opposing attitudes
    to furniture, versatility of space and materials.

  • Wood is generally used for the framework of the home, but its properties are valuable in the Japanese aesthetic, namely its warmth and irregularity.

  • [88][92] Bamboo is prominently used and even expected in the Japanese house, used both for decorative and functional purposes.

  • [93] Even with governmental encouragement to transform the home, the majority of Japanese people still lived in fairly traditional style dwellings well into the 1920s,[93]
    partly due to economic situation in the early 1910s that meant western style was out of reach for the majority of people.

  • [93] Many public spaces had begun to incorporate chairs and desks by the late nineteenth century, department stores adopted western-style displays; a new “urban visual and
    consumer culture” was emerging.

  • Traditional and modern Japanese interiors have been flexible in use and designed mostly with natural materials.

  • The specific idea that a room’s true beauty is in the empty space within the roof and walls came from Laozi, a philosopher and the founder of Taoism, who held to the “aesthetic
    ideal of emptiness”,[88] believing that the mood should be captured in the imagination, and not so heavily dictated by what is physically present.

  • [94] In terms of architecture and interior design though, the influence on the West is much more centered on the United States of America.

  • [88] Japanese culture is extremely diverse; despite this, in terms of the interior, the aesthetic is one of simplicity and minimalism.

  • [95] The early influence of such exhibitions was more in the creation of an enthusiasm for things Japanese instead of something more authentic.

  • The modernist context, and the time leading up to it, meant that architects were more concerned with “the problem of building, rather than in the art of ornamenting”.

  • It was also difficult to incorporate furniture into traditional dwellings due to their small size and intended flexible use of space, a flexibility made difficult to maintain
    when bulky furniture was involved; it was impractical, but aesthetically incongruent too.

  • [93] In the domestic sphere, the manner and dress of inhabitants were determined by the interior style, Japanese or Western.

  • A large portion of Japanese interior walls are often made of shōji screens that can be pushed open to join two rooms together, and then close them allowing more privacy.

  • Sei Shōnagon was a trend-setting court lady of the tenth century who wrote in ‘The Pillow Book’ of her dislike for “a new cloth screen with a colourful and cluttered painting
    of many cherry blossoms”,[91] preferring instead to notice “that one’s elegant Chinese mirror has become a little cloudy”.

  • [92] Japanese Zen interior designs draw inspiration from elements of nature as they have immense respect for nature.

  • The Japanese influence was different however.

  • Traditional Japanese interiors, as well as modern, incorporate mainly natural materials including fine woods, bamboo, silk, rice straw mats, and paper shōji screens.


Works Cited

[‘Black, Alexandra (2000). The Japanese House: Architecture and Interiors. Massachusetts: Tuttle Publishing. pp. 6–11. ISBN 0-8048-3262-5.
2. ^ “How Japanese Culture influences their Designs”. November 17, 2009. Archived from the original on December
26, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2011. How Japanese Culture Influences Their Designs
3. ^ “How Japanese Culture influences their Designs – Design Sojourn”. designsojourn.com. November 18, 2009. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011.
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5. ^ Jump up to:a b c “7 Principles of Japanese
Interior Design – Spacious Planet”. Archived from the original on December 3, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
6. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Teasley, Sarah (Autumn 2003). “Furnishing the modern Metropolitan: Moriya Nobuo’s Designs for Domestic
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7. ^ Pile, John F. (2003). Interior Design. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated. ISBN 0-8109-0559-0.
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d e f Lancaster, Clay (September 1953). “Japanese Buildings in the United States before 1900: Their Influence Upon American Domestic Architecture”. The Art Bulletin. 35 (3): 217–224. doi:10.1080/00043079.1953.11408188. JSTOR 3047491.
9. ^ McNeil,
Peter (1992). “Myths of Modernism: Japanese Architecture, Interior Design and the West c. 1920–1940”. Journal of Design History. 5 (4): 281–294. doi:10.1093/jdh/5.4.281. JSTOR 1315992.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/minniemouseaunt/3446285408/’]