My first objective here is to unravel the various formal relationships in the Yoshijima House and to clarify and explore the meaning of the formal order that lies behind its appearance; at the same time, I am investigating through this analysis the possibility of formulating a unifying concept and method of analysis applicable both to style in the sense of qualities shared by a group and to style in the sense of qualities that characterize an individual's creative activity.
2. The Formal Structure of Architecture
(a) How do forms relate to life on a semantic level?
Everyone recognizes the close relationship between life and architectural forms, but the significance of this relationship is by no means correctly understood. Most architectural theories up to now have looked upon architectural forms as a consequence of life. Changes in architectural forms are of course preceded by changes in living patterns. Forms to meet new demands, however, are not chosen from an infinite number of formal possibilities, as modern rationalists might claim; the possibilities themselves are already qualified by the way a particular culture regards nature, space or place and light, in other words by the way it deals with forms. Just as the structure of language, the means of thought, conversely controls thought, architectural forms relate interdependently to living patterns.
Interdependence, however, does not necessarily mean the two are in one to one correspondence. In reality the two are not tightly bound. An airplane, by contrast, demands nearly a one to one correspondence between content and form; in architecture, however, the two are more independent. This is shown by the fact that townhouses built for a life far different from today's can be satisfactorily lived in, even now. Form in architecture, in comparison to that in an airplane, has a far greater adaptability or capacity. Thus even if we could know everything about the way life was lived, we could not from just that knowledge reconstruct architectural forms.
It is more productive if we consider the issue of forms, not in terms of nonformal factors, but rather simply in terms of formal relationships. Architectural form are not the simple consequence of living patterns; in fact they possess a systematic, autonomous order, in other words a "structure", qualified by the distinctive way forms are dealt with in a particular culture. There is an intimate, mutual relationship between the elements that compose forms, and these relationships have, in the context of the whole, a certain inevitability. The existence of "structure" is the working hypothesis of this paper; at the same time the corroborative procedure used will clarify the nature of the structure.
The relationship of architectural forms cannot be totally accounted for in terms of nonformal conditions such as living patterns; the analysis of forms is indispensable for an understanding of architectural forms. And as a method of analysis, the separation of formal analysis from the semantic relationship of forms to life frees the observer from preconceptions which meanings give rise to and is effective in making possible the pure description of formal relationships.
(b) The Meaning of Architectural Forms
Architecture is a system of meanings. Architecture exerts an influence on the life that unfolds within, in a type of semantic operation. Architectural forms of course differ from language which is a pure system of semantic operations -- with architecture there are many empirical (or causal) relationships, such as seeking protection from the rain under roof -- but if empirical relationships were not reintegrated into the semantic system, architecture would not have a social character. A discussion of causal relationships alone is tiresome. The simplistic conclusions drawn by such discussions, on the order of "architecture is shelter", cannot explain what we are most interested in, such as the multifarious development of architectural forms or their stylization and propagation. Because meaning appears as a relationship, the whole is always important. The meaning of individual elements is determined in the context of the simultaneously perceived whole and has no immediate relationship to the historical origin or the circumstances of change and development. For example, even if the multiple-storied space in a Japanese folk house ware created originally to draw off smoke from the hearth, this alone cannot explain why this form has been passed on and assimilated into the Japanese folk house style at the expense of having to tolerate eye-stinging smoke or the room-staining soot.
In terms of semantic relationships, the relationship of the significant (forms) constitutes a term and gives order to the signifi(content). Therefore, because the above-mentioned formal structure controls the relationship of forms or the significant, it may give order to life. I say "may" because not all formal relationships have a bearing on life. For example, knowing whether the ceiling material is Japanese cedar or cypress is important for an understanding of the owner's tastes, but normally such a distinction does not affect, the way that room is used. But whether a room has a nageshi a decorative horizontal wood members (plate 5) or not influences the way the room is used. Thus when we try to apprehend the formal structure in terms of its relationship to life, the formal elements to be studied must have direct bearing on the life lived inside.
The people who live in a building reads and gives meaning to the formal structure. This reading is subjective but is not entirely arbitrary; it does not deviate from the formal structure. In other words, the fact that a house is a vessel suitable for life can be seen as indicative of the existence of an analogous structure in the two. Therefore, we can infer from a certain formal structure a structure of life that can materialize there. It is in this sense that I will study the relationship between the formal structure and life.
(c) Group and Individual style
In order to clarify the meaning of the above mentioned structure, I will study two sets of physical features important to the consideration of architectural form and meaning. The first set is that which identifies a group's style (including style in the traditional historical, aesthetic sense). The second set of physical features is that which identifies the work of an individual. The two are different in the meaning they convey and in the function they fulfill.
To see a style in a group of buildings is to say that they have formal characteristics in common; they not only share certain formal elements but have a certain formal homogeneity. The houses of most commoners before modernization, for example, had certain styles. Within a particular style, the houses were hardly ever identical. Yet it is possible to recognize in them an analogous quality. That is to say, we can find fixed rules between forms. Behind a given form or dimension is an order and structure.
Such a style is not the work of a single architect or builder. The style is the common possession of a group. A certain house style may be widely and repeatedly used in an area and sometimes transmitted beyond that area. This is made possible by a style's flexibility and adaptability. Without losing those qualities which distinguish style, each house can adapt to sites of different form and size and to different programs. A style is determined by a system (i.e. structure) of extremely dynamic rules and does not prescribe actual forms and dimensions like an architectural drawing.
An architectural style, just as language and styles of behavior, reflects the group's religion, morals, traditions, customs, politics and economy, and constitutes the code of that group which makes reaffirmation of shared values possible.
In contrast, that set of physical features which is the work of an individual is the result of that individual's world-view and experience. The work of an individual of course takes on meaning from its relationship to the group style to which the individual work belongs; he can, however, subjectify that shared code, add his own interpretations and make a judgment upon it. In traditional societies where the shared code was all powerful, individuality was displayed in the interpretation of the formal structure of the group style. Each building possesses a particular structure which is the creator's interpretation. Thus the formal structure abstracted from a building must be regarded as a mixture of both group and individual stylistic features. Acquaintance with the group style is necessary for the evaluation of individual creativity and that a comparison of different works is required to clarify the structure determining a group style.
To clarify the particular quality of the Yoshijima House, I will compare it to a house next door, built 30 years earlier in approximately the same size and style--the Kusakabe House (plate 8).
(d) The Method of Analysis
Architectural forms take part in life through the three-dimensional extension that they define, in other words through the spatial aspect of forms. The house spacer is articulated, first of all, by the locational relationships within the house. The locational relationships are determined from external conditions such as street or adjacent houses and from internal conditions of the room layout. A second type of articulation is by the attribute of forms which prescribe space. For example, as will be shown in the following analysis, the ceiling in the Yoshijima House are of two kinds, inclined and level. These divide the space in the house into two (Drawing 4). What is important here is not that the ceiling is inclined or level, but that forms with contrasting characteristics exist simultaneously. The third type of to articulation is by elements to which meanings have been attached historically. Whereas spatial articulations by locational relationships or by the co-existence of contrasting formal attributes are relative because they depend on formal relationships, this is a matter of custom and is stable as long as it stays within its own cultural milieu. A torii is generally an entrance to a shrine compound and functions as a gate, but it is in addition a symbol of shrines or the Shinto religion. This kind of meaning is not lost, even when it is detached from its location and drawn on a map as a sign. Elements which have been given meaning historically can articulate space by themselves, without being contrasted with a formal attribute. These three types together constitute the means of articulating the house space.
In the Yoshijima House, I will investigate as contrasting formal elements built floor/earthen floor, boarded floor/tatami(straw mat) floor, inclined ceiling/level ceiling, ceiling with exposed structure/ceiling with concealed structure (covered ceiling), high ceiling/low ceiling, and translucent fitting(shoji)/opaque fitting(fusuma) and as elements with historically given meaning nageshi and the arrangement of sliding screens. I will describe the articulation by these elements as locational relationships. I will investigate whether there is some relationship between these described locational relationships. The relationship that governs the whole is, in other words, the formal structure of this house.
(e) Method of Analysis and Spatial Concept
I have already stated that the formal structure of architecture is affected by the distinctive way forms are treated in a given culture; the method of analysis presented here is closely related to Japan's spatial conception. To come straight to the point, many of the contrasting formal elements dealt with here have to do with planes. The ceiling, wall and floor that define the architectural space of feudal Japan are treated as independent planes and are evidence of the importance plane have in spatial composition.
In feudal Japan space was not conceived in terms of substantial solids and voids as in the West. Instead, planes space was implied by thin, taut planes (Which were not elastic membranes having substance but were instead self-sufficient, implying no presence . beyond their own). Therefore, when the methodology presented here is applied to Western architecture, it will be necessary to reconsider the items of analysis. In other words, an appropriate method of analysis itself indicates the spatial conception of the subject under study.
3. Formal Structure and Semantic Relationship in the Yoshijima House
(a) A General description of the Yoshijima House
The Yoshijima House is located in the city of Takayama and is in the style of a traditional townhouse. It was reconstructed after the great fire of 1875, but in 1905 fire from an adjacent house again destroyed it, leaving only a part of the shop and the front half of the southern part of the house. Its present appearance thus dates from the reconstruction of 1908; the house has been designated an Important Cultural Asset. The head of the family at that time was Yoshijima Ayayuki (Kyubei) and the master carpenter was Nishida Isaburo. Its scale is 663 square meters in site area and 492 square meters in ground coverage (not counting the storehouses and the brewery in the back). Its frontage is an imposing 26.4m. (Drawing 1,2,3, and plates)
The entrance, like those of all Takayama townhouses that face the east, is on the left. Passing through the two-bay deep entrance, we come to a two-storied space 165 square meters in area and 7.6 meters in height; overhead, stout beams intersect. This space is divided into the earthen floor area and a built floor area. To the right, from the front to the back, are the oe, inner-oe and living-dining room. The living-dining room and the opposite room for servants flank the doji. Together with the articulation by floor material into north and south parts, there is an east-west articulation by wall, fittings and daikokubashira 'the symbolic central pillar of the house' which divide space nearly into halves. The entrance side is principally a place for business transactions and the receiving of guests, and the inner side is for living spaces for the family daidoko and servants. Beyond that, the kitchen, bath, sink, well and toilet are situated around a light well. This area in the back was changed to its present arrangement during 1923 and 1924. At that time seven storehouses, including the remaining three, stood up to where the light well is. To the south of the two surviving storehouses in rear was a sake brewery. To the north of the oe is the sleeping room for the master and mistress. To its north is the Buddhist altar room and next to that is the main reception room, which is in the shoin-style, having the reception room decorations such as toko, tsuke-shoin and tana (see plate-5). To the south of the main reception room (hon-zashiki) is the simpler anteroom with just a toko. To the east and west of these five rooms are gardens. With the exception of the maser sleeping room these rooms were as a rule used only on ceremonial occasions. On the other hand, facing the street are, from the south, the accounting room, the shop (which had no fixed function and was used as an auxiliary space for the oe), tea-ceremony room and its preparation room. Further to the north is the study which projects out onto the front garden; and in the back of the study is the gura archive. The second floor is arranged in an L-shape around the two-storied space. The southern half facing the street was given over to a room for servants and a room for the wet-nurse; the two rooms to the north were for the children. On the other hand, the two rooms that extended east-west were, like the first floor reception rooms, not used ordinarily.
In the spring of 1974 I first visited this house. I was strongly attracted by its architectural beauty and was astonished by the high level of accomplishment. That was the starting point of my interest, but subsequent study has shown that the Yoshijima House is, moreover, particularly fit for the above mentioned type of analysis.
First, the Yoshijima House, unlike most folk houses, is an extremely conscious and intellectual product. It differs, however, from instances of free, individual expression in being within in the last analysis the traditional framework. The consciousness displayed in design leads one to expect the minimum of accidental relationships between forms, and its traditionality in turn arouses the expectation that a structural analogy exists between form and life.
The Yoshijima House too is very large for a traditional townhouse. Generally speaking, the larger the house, the more the spaces have been differentiated, so that the relationship to life is easier to perceive.
(b) Locational Relationships of Contrasting Formal Attributes and Elements with Historical Meaning
(1) Decoratively finished space/unfinished space (Drawing 1,2).
The characteristics of the spaces to the north and to the south of the line extending from the division between oe and kazuki are contrasting. The north side has been decoratively finished, in such ways as ornamental rafters, lacquered shelves, well-tended gardens, painted fusuma, ceiling;s with decorative rails known as sao-buchi (plate 5), and nageshi. On the south side, the compositional elements are well-maintained but undecorated. There are other contrasts such as the treatment of light and the spatial orientation, but leaving these for later discussion, I will first, in order to differentiate the two spaces, call the northern half Zashiki Space and the southern half Daidoko Space, after the principal room of each.
(2) Built Floor/Earthen Floor (Drawing 2)
The space defined by built flooring (which I will refer to simply as floor space) is surrounded by earthen floored space.
(3) Boarded Floor/Tatami Floor (Drawing l)
Tatami floored space is surrounded by boarded floor space, except when it is bounded by a wall. Taken together with the previous floor versus earth distinction, we may say that tatami floored space is surrounded by either boarded floor space or by a wall and does not come directly into contact with earthen floored space. The exceptions are "A" (Exception l) and "B" (Exception 2) in the drawing. And as for the four rooms along the street, if we consider the front grills (plate 1) as walls because they are fixed, then the above relationship holds; but if, because the grills are open, we do not regard them as walls, then the relationship dissolves. In other words, we can take the relationship of these four rooms to the street in both ways. (Exception 3)
(4) Inclined Ceiling/Level Ceiling (Drawing 3,4)
A level ceiling space is surrounded by inclined ceiling space and does not come directly into contact with the outside.
(5) Exposed Structure Ceiling/Concealed Structure Ceiling (Covered Ceiling) (Drawing 3,5)
A covered ceiling space is surrounded by exposed structure ceiling space and does not come directly into contact with the outside.
These two ceiling-connected relationships overlap the previous floor relationships. In other words, a boarded floor space has an inclined ceiling with an exposed structure, and on the other hand, a tatami floored space has a level, covered ceiling. These relationships, however, do not hold for the oe, inner-,oe, living-dining room for the family and servants. The first four rooms are tatami floored but have inclined ceilings with exposed structure (Exception 4). And the last two rooms are tatami floored and have level ceilings, but the structure is exposed (Exception 5).
(6) Translucent Fittings (shoji)/Opaque Fittings (fusuma) (Drawing 1, 6)
Generally speaking, shoji is located in places that come into contact with the outside for the purpose of transmitting light (plate 6), but if we look at it together with the flooring, then we see that the shoji separates the boarded floor space and the tatami floor space, while the fusuma separates tatami floored space (plate 7). The exception to this is the two-storied space. Master sleeping room/oe, passageway/inner-oe and oe/innse-oe are all tatami floored, but all three sets of spaces are separated by shoji (Exception 6).
(7) Nageshi (Drawing 7, plate 5)
The inside and the outside of the five rooms main reception room, ante room, Buddhist altar room, passageway and master sleeping room are decorated with nageshi. If we consider the relationship between nageshi and ceilings, we see that a space with nageshi corresponds to a space with a covered ceiling. But the tea-ceremony room and its preparation room (Exception 7) and informal reception room and parlor (Exception 8) are covered ceiling spaces but are not decorated with nageshi. Next we consider the relationship to the floor. By "the outside of the five rooms" I mean that the nageshi adorns the inner side of the boarded floor spaces. This relationship, however, does not hold for the two-storied space, even though the nageshi adorns the northern wall of the oe and innew-oe. (Exception 9)
(C) The Formal Structure of the Zashiki Space
If we look again at the seven relationships that have been studied, we see that they are connected. In other words. a space "covered" with a "level" ceiling is floored in "tatami", surrounded by "shoji" and divided into rooms by "fusuma". The inside of these rooms is decorated with "nageshi" as is the outside, the latter in effect tying these rooms together. On the periphery of these rooms is a space with "inclined" ceilings. Here the ceiling "structure is exposed" and the floor is "boarded". Beyond this space is "earth". These three spaces encircle one another concentrically. To express this relationship let us call the tatami floor space the center and the boarded floor space and the earthen floor space together the periphery. Drawing 8 proposes a model for this relationship. The exceptions to this relationship are nearly all in the Daidoko Space, so that this relationship describes the formal structure of the Zashiki Space. Thus to be precise we should call the center and periphery space the center and periphery of the Zashiki Space. If we restudy the exceptions which are within the two-storied space, namely Exceptions l, 4, 6 and 9, keeping in mind this formal structure, then we learn the following. If, for the moment, we were to assume that the floor of the oe, inner-oe and living-dining room is boarded, then these four exceptions would disappear and the two-storied space would also be included in the formal structure of the Zashiki Space as a part of the periphery. This assumption has some validity; that is to say, these three rooms which we supposed have boarded floors are in contact with the earth (doji), and since the sunlight entering from above gives this two-storied space an outdoor character, they are in the same condition as a veranda facing a garden. In other words, we can interpret them to be an extension of the periphery or veranda of the Zashiki Space which has been floored with tatami (Drawing 9). Thus it does not matter if there is not an lower veranda (Exception l, A in drawing 1) on the tip of the inner-oe, because it itself is a sort of veranda. Not all the parts of the Daidoko Space is assimilated into the formal structure of the Zashiki Space; the formal relationships of the main reception room, tea-ceremony room, accounting room and servants' living-dining room cannot be explained in terms of the formal structure of the Zashiki Space. Are these willful and structure-less departures from the system? To state my conclusions first, it is that the Daidoko Space has a formal structure different from that of the Zashiki Space.
(D). The Formal Structure of the Daidoko Space
(8) High Ceiling/Low Ceiling (Drawing 10)
Differences in the height of the ceiling directly reflect differences in volumes and size.s of space. A high ceiling space is surrounded by a low ceiling space.
(9) Inclined Ceiling/Level Ceiling (Drawing 4)
A tall ceiling is inclined. This is surrounded by low, level ceilings. The exception is the ceiling to the south of the two-storied space, which is low but inclined. (Drawing 3)
The high, inclined ceiling space (the center of the Daidoko Space) is surrounded by low, level ceiling space (the periphery of the Daidoko Space). This is the formal structure of the Daidoko Space. (Drawing 11)
From this, we see that the two-storied space which of the can be included as a part of the periphery of the Zashiki Space is the center of the Daidoko Space. On the other hand, the center of the Zashiki Space is in contact with the two-storied space and furthermore has a low, level ceiling. In other words, it is a part of the periphery of the Daidoko Space. (Drawing 12) Thus each of the two spaces, according to its formal structure, incorporates and the other into its own periphery and can be regarded in turn as the center of the entire ensemble.
(E) The Character of the Two Central Spaces
The differences in the formal structures of the two spaces make the centers contrast. in character (plate 2,5). As I mentioned at the beginning of the analysis of the two different formal structures, the surfaces of the Zashiki Space are decorated, whereas the Daidoko Space is undecorated. And while one is predominantly of unvarnished wood and is "white", the other is "black". There is also the contrast between slender versus stout wood members. In the treatment of light, the Daidoko Space gets light from above while the Zashiki Space gets light from the sides. The light from above is direct sunlight, which causes distinct shadows in the overhead beams. It gets darker as we proceed outward from the center of the space. The light of the Zashiki Space is more of a reflected light, which comes up off the floor surfaces. Darkness settles in the corners of ceilings. In the way the spaces are defined, one is shut to the outside and is "enclosed". The other is open and is "covered". By its treatment of light and the manner of spatial definition, one space has an upward, rising orientation, while the other extends outward horizontally.
(F) The Control of Interior Climate in the Two Spaces
A house must perform many different functions if it is to be lived in. Among them is the control of the interior climate, in other words the securing of ventilation and lighting (Drawing 8,11). In the Zashiki Space this function is performed by the garden and e veranda--the periphery. The garden is not only an object for visual appreciation but is an essential element of the house. The veranda protects the tatami space--the main space where the chief activities take place--from direct exposure to the outside and controls rain and sunlight. On the other hand, in the Daidoko Space the reverse is true; i.e. the center carries out this function. The shoji in the opening created in the gable of the great roof over the two-storied space is moved up and down by rope from below and controls the lighting and ventilation. Thus the Daidoko Space can serve as a place to live, even if it had no contact peripherally with the outside.
(G) The Meaning of the Two Spaces--Hare and Ke
The Yoshijima House contains two spaces with different formal structures, each forming a set of concentric circles and complete in itself. As I have mentioned above, the two spaces are contrasting,but each has its own interior climate control system. From these two points we see that the two spaces could each be self-sufficient as a dwelling. That one house contains two spaces each of which could be self-sufficient as a dwelling leads us to believe that the life in that house had two aspects, which were in direct contrast and each complete in itself and that it was only when both existed that family life had meaning.
In my opinion the Zashiki Space is a space for times of hare and the Daidoko Space is a space for times of ke. If we look at the ways the house was used, the Zashiki Space was employed only on ceremonial occasions and for the reception of important guests. At other times all the surfaces from the ceiling to the tatami were covered with paper, straw matting and cedar sheets; even entering the rooms was forbidden. The formal structure of the Zashiki Space can be considered the same as that of the shoin (reception area) of the warrior residence, but it was not a normal reception space like the latter. The normal reception space for the Yoshijima House was the oe or the living-dining room; daily life was spent entirely within the Daidoko Space. The function of the Zashiki Space is of an extremely religious and ceremonial nature. A ceremony is an opportunity for the family to participate in society. On ceremonial occasions, through the medium of religion, people express participation in society and confirm that they are members of that society. These acts reaffirm social values held in common. The Zashiki Space is a space for such acts.
The two spaces line the street; in other words, they are located south and north, both facing the street. If we look at how each space is used, we see that status becomes higher as we go from south to north. In other words, the southernmost row of rooms are spaces for servants, cooking and toilets. Next are the circulation spaces, daily business and living spaces for the family of the house, the sleeping area for the master and mistress, and finally the main reception room and Buddhist altar room. The existence of two spaces corresponding to the different times of hare and ke cause a heterogeneity in significance in the house, creating a "field" of status, with the highest to the north and the lowest to the south. (Drawing 14) The field gives significance to the arrangement of the rows of spaces. Its power extends even into rooms, for example determining the significance of sitting position; i.e. the location of the seat of highest prestige in the main reception room.
Each of these two spaces has an independent line of development. The pit-dwelling (tate-ana jukyo) of the ancient period and the earthen floored space in farmhouses, for example, have structures similar to that of Daidoko Space, and Ise Shrine and shinden zukuri houses for the medieval aristocrats have structures that resemble that of Zashiki Space. Because the line of Zashiki Space was that used and developed by the ruling class for its residences, buildings belonging to this line have survived in fact and in records; thus, until now, this has been thought to represent the only paradigm of Japanese architectural space.
(H) The Center and Periphery in the House as a Whole
Here I will show that the Yoshijima House possesses a formal structure of center and periphery with respect to the house as a whole.
(10) The Placement of the Clay-covered Walls (Drawing 1,2,13) Excepting the streetside, the house is surrounded by clay-covered walls. The sides are consolidated by the fire-proof wall (the archive appears as a projection from it) and the rear by the two (formerly seven) storehouses and the brewery.
(11) Wall/Movable Screens (Drawing 1,2,13)
In addition to clay-covered or wooden board-covered walls, we shall also regard something like the preparation room mizuya as a wall. The preparation room is surrounded by movable partitions, that is, fixtures, but since no major daily activity takes them place here, we may consider them to have the same property as true walls. If we look at what we have thus considered "walls", (Drawing 13) we see that they come into contact with the clay-covered walls at right angles and act to buttress the latter visually. This also is true in the front of the house where there is no clay-covered wall, if we consider the garden wall and grills as modifications of the clay-covered wall, because they are equally immovable. The exceptions are C (Exception 10) and D (Exception 11) in the drawing 13, but C can be explained as having been created to avoid "interference" between the above-mentioned Daidoko Space and Zashiki Space.
These buttress-like projecting walls and the perimeter walls (clay-covered wall, garden wall and grills) form small pockets of space that are enclosed on three sides. Each of these U-shaped spaces open inward into the house. And together, they form a spatial belt surrounding the house on four sides. This is the periphery of the (entire) house. This periphery overlaps in part the periphery of the two component spaces. The southern and eastern rows of rooms in the Daidoko Space and the guest toilet, study and front garden are both the periphery of their respective domains and also the periphery of the (entire) house. (Drawing 14)
The periphery of the house is furthermore articulated into two spaces by its formal character. Namely, is the part that is adjacent to neighboring houses and the part that adjoins the street. The walls of the former are clay-covered, and in contrast the walls of the latter are grills in the case of the Daidoko Space and the garden wall in the case of the Zashiki Space. The former I shall call the peripheral belt, the latter the frontal belt (that is, the periphery of the house consists of the peripheral-belt and the frontal belt). In the frontal belt, the part belonging to the Daidoko Space has a striking character. As I have mentioned before, the grills have a dual nature of immovability and openness; they are in effect porous walls. Moreover, not only are the ceilings of the U-shaped spaces behind the grills all the same with exposed joists, whether the spaces are floored or not (Drawing 3), but this entire spatial belt is strongly integrated, in part because of the wall of D in Drawing 13. Though this space is a part of the Daidoko Space, it is extremely important in the evaluation of the Yoshijima House as an urban dwelling.
(I) The Meaning of the Center and the Periphery of the Entire
The U-shaped space which form the periphery of the entire house are made up, of such rooms as the storehouse, toilets, closet, kitchen, servants' living-dining room, accounting room, entrance, shop, tea-ceremony room, guest toilet and the two rooms upstairs. These spaces are for the storage of goods, sanitary installations, cooking and servants, and are auxiliary rooms and spaces for indulging in pastimes. These spaces serve to support the life of the family of the head of the house (the principals of this house) and are not where the chief activities take place. They have essential but subordinate functions. In contrast, the center is where the main part of the principals' lives take place.
The significance of the periphery in its relation to the urban environment, is defensive. The crowding in cities means disturbance for houses, in fire, noise and visual intrusion. The lives of the principals are protected from disturbing elements in being doubly surrounded by perimeter walls and the U-shaped spaces.
Of the periphery spaces, the earth-covered walls are mainly what land the peripheral belt its protective significance, but the frontal belt makes possible both protection and contact with the outside because of the dual character of the grills. The grills screen the house from outside visual intrusion during the day but secure cross ventilation and also permit those inside to keep an eye on what is going on in the street.
Moreover, the frontal belt, including the entrance, permits social contact as well as visual. It is not enough for houses to simply protect one from the city outside. The lives of the principals have meaning only in their social context. The ordinary reception of guests is of course necessary, but for the family of the Yoshijima House, engaged as it is in trade, waiting on customers is basic to its survival. The frontal belt stands between the road or public space and the inside private space. The private space is articulated further. People pass through the frontal belt to get into the house, but then there are three points of discontinuity provided by the threshold, a shop curtain and screen door. Moreover, the two-storied space is divided by the column row that includes the daikokubashira , and the projection of the inner-oe also suggests a further articulation of space. The oe is a space for transacting business and the earthen floor is where sake barrels for retail sales were piled. The head clerk sat behind a low screen in the inner-oe and conducted business. The living-dining, on the other hand, was the family living area. This series of spaces starts from a territory where the principals exercise no authority and terminates in territory where their authority is complete; this constitutes a "field". This public-private field not only protects the lives of the principals but has a positive social significance. Though under the control of the principals, the oe may be approached without permission, but without permission one may not go beyond the inner door. Thus to be invited into the living-dining is an expression of familiarity. In this public-private field, the frontal belt together with the inner door creates an important point of discontinuity, a transition point in meaning. This public-private field is at right angles to the previously mentioned field of status. (Drawing 14,15)
(J) The Deep Structure of Form
The above analysis has clarified the formal structure and the overlapping relationship of the Daidoko Space and the Zashiki Space. ( Drawing 8,11,14) Their meaning has also been investigated. It has been ascertained that these formal structures all share the same pattern of central space/peripheral space. Here I would like to show that they share other characteristics and that there are two levels to the structure of the Yoshijima House.
Fittings in Japanese architecture, particularly in houses, become sliding panels by the feudal period. When there are four, they are most commonly arranged so that the two central panels are the inner panels of the main room. Drawing 6 indicates the order of rooms interpreted from the arrangement of the fittings. (In the drawing, the arrows show the side to which the left or central two panels belong.) In the Zashiki Space we can interpret the system as an overlapping of two orders, (main reception room - ante room) and (Buddhist altar room - master sleeping room - passageway), which are both linear. This can be double-checked by considering the direction of the decorative rails of ceiling. In general, the decorative rails are arranged so as not to meet the toko; in other words, the decorative rails is arranged at right angles to the principal orientation of the room, so that one can find out the orientation of a room even if there is no toko.
Next let us look at the arrangement of fittings in the Daidoko Space. The o, inner-oe and living-dining are in a linear relationship, but if we add the parlor and shop, than it is not linear. The first three rooms belong to the two-storied space, so that if we consider them as a single room, then the rooms including the master sleeping room are number "4" in order (with the main reception room being number "1") and are subordinate to the two-storied space which is number "3". And the U-shaped rooms formed by the perimeter walls and buttress-like walls perpendicular to them (Drawing 13), the entrance, accounting room the south part of the earthen floor space and the servants' living-dining are all open toward the two-storied space. In other words the U-shape spaces around the two-storied space (i.e. the subordinate spaces that compose the periphery of the Daidoko Space) are arranged to converge on the central two-storied space. The rooms within the central two-storied space of the Daidoko Space are, as I have already mentioned, linearly arranged. If we now go back and study the arrangement of rooms in the Zashiki Space, including the veranda which belongs to its periphery, then we can see that the center and the periphery are centrally, arranged. In other words the five rooms that compose the center of the Zashiki Space are separated from the veranda by shoji and all the central panels of the shoji project into the rooms. The entire house is also in such a relationship, the central space being divided into two and being linear (according to status), and the peripheral spaces being closed to the outside and open towards the center. As the above makes clear, the three spaces (i.e. the Zashiki Space, Daidoko Space and the house as a whole) have the same relationship of component spaces. The components of the arranged linearly, and the these of the periphery are arranged to converge on the center.
Therefore, the formal structure of the three spaces have both similar and dissimilar points. They differ in the relationships of the formal elements defining their respective component spaces but are alike in the relationship of these component spaces. What is dissimilar in them is immediately perceptible and directly affects the character of the spaces; it is a manifestation of the distinctive way forms are treated in a particular culture (in this case Japan), a point raised in the beginning of this discussion. On the other hand, what is alike in them exists behind what is perceptible and can be apprehended intellectually; it is something like a prototype or archetype. We may differentiate the two by calling the former the superficial formal structure and the latter the deep formal structure. To say that the deep structure is the archetype is to mean that individual architectural forms are developments of the deep structure under different circumstances. The superficial structure, mediated by this development, physically clothes the deep structure.
The deep structure of the forms of the Yoshijima House as shown above--the center (linear)/periphery (convergent)--assures autonomy of domain for the three spaces at their respective levels. And as Drawing 14 indicates, the overlapping of the three spaces is made possible by their having the deep structure in common.
I shall summarize the conclusions of the above analysis.
4. A Comparison of the Yoshijima and Kusakabe Houses--An Ambiguous Composition
Analyzing the same items in the Kusakabe House that were investigated in the Yoshijima House, it is possible to distinguish a Daidoko Space and a Zashiki Space (Drawing 17, 18). In the Daidoko space and Zashiki Space in the Kusakabe House, we can perceive exactly the same contrasts as in the Yoshijima House, with the exception of Item 7 (nageshi) and (11) (wall/movable partition). I will not go into the details here.
Now, if we study the two items of exception (Drawing 19), we see that the center of the Zashiki Space in the Kusakabe House is different from that of the Yoshijim a House in being further divided into two parts; i.e. into the four north rooms (which for convenience sake I shall call Z)--honzashikl, butsuma, tsuginoma and kuchinoma--and the five south rooms (which I shall call Z'). There are no nageshi in the inner side of Z' which is so to speak an informal zashiki area. And on the north side of kuchikazuki and the room to the west, there is a wall or a closet, cutting off the spatial connection between Z and Z'. The kazuki juts much further east than the similar room in the Yoshijima House, emphasizing the formal character of Z as a row of rooms. From such treatment of forms, a line between Z and Z' becomes clearly legible; whereas Z shows the formal character of Zashiki Space, Z' has little of that character. For this reason, it seems as if a third space had been injected between the center of the Daidoko Space and the center of the Zashiki Space.
If we look at the results of the analysis of 9 items in the Yoshijima House, everything but Number 4 is also true of the Kusakabe House. (This is so particularly when we consider just Z as the center of the Zashiki Space); thus the Yoshiiima House is
distinguished by the juxtaposition of the two centers (Drawing 16) and the Kusakabe House is distinguished by their separation by a third space.
In the yoshijima House, juxtaposition of the centers of the two spaces prevents a simultaneous reading of the two spaces as concentric structures. Regarding alternately one or the other as the center, we can read the whole in two ways. On the other hand in the Kusakabe House, because Z' is injected between the centers of the two spaces, the center (Z) of the Zashiki space is separated from the center (D) of the Daidoko Space and is not legible as a part of the periphery of the Daidoko Space. Instead, Z' is adjacent to the center of the Daidoko Space and has a level ceiling thus Z' is a part of the periphery of read Daidoko Space. By the same token, it is difficult to read D a part of the periphery of read Zashiki Space. Thus, to read one as a concentric structure does not interfere with a similar reading of the other ; two concentric patterns can be read at the same time.
The difference in the relationship of the spaces in the two houses also appears as differences in the treatment of the parts, especially those connecting the two spaces. Although the two spaces must be tied functionally, the two qualitatively different spaces must also be separated to maintain their individual identity. Generally speaking, another space like an airtight chamber in a submarine is necessary to mediate between space of different quality (air and water) and to make it possible to go from one to the other. Z' in the Kusakabe House fulfills such a function.
In the Yoshijima House, where the centers of the spaces are contiguous, a space that corresponds to Z' in the Kusakabe House is provided for in a most ingenious manner.
In both houses, the centers of the two spaces are connected by the nakaoe and tori which lie in the north-south direction. In the Yoshigima House, these two rooms are given special treatment. What is most striking is the partition of the oe and nakaoe. Where there could be four panels of shoji there are only two; and the upper rail holding them in place is supported at one end and by a member suspended from above. And in comparison with other rooms, there two are of particularly narrow width and project into the doji. These distinctive treatments emphasize the identity of the passageway these. two rooms and its directionality and to express the fact that these rooms belong to the center of the two spaces. By giving the "airtight chamber" a double meaning, the juxtaposition of the centers is made possible. In reality, standing in the nakaoe, one feels oneself simultaneously both in the multi-story space and in a small space within it. And the extraordinary composition of the rule-breaking shoji panels and upper rail prepares one for different space beyond.
In the Kusakabe House, the two rooms, nakaoe and tori, are not given any special treatment. They are similar to other rooms in dimension and do not project into the doji; neither is the partition between the oe and nakaoe extraordinary.
This can be explained by the availability of X' to act as an airtight chamber; as a result, there is nothing to make one expect the presence of Zashiki Space as there in the Yoshigima House.
It is common for feudal townhouse to have, within a single dwelling, space with contrasting character and different surface formal structure such as the Daidoko Space and Zashiki Space. This, However, is a matter of historical fact, not directly related to our contemporary architectural planning concerns, since the distinction between hare and ke has all but disappeared in today's Japan.
The relationship between the two spaces that makes a double reading possible in this house is a phenomenon peculiar to this building, but this does bring up a theme of architectural expression which transcends historical and cultural differences. In other words, it raises the question of (visual) ambiguity which has become a byword in modernism thanks to Robert Venturi and Colin Rowe. I personally favor ambiguity in architecture. Ideally, I believe, architecture should not simply be a collection of separate elements; the parts should be ordered, given meaning and put in a closely knit relationship in the whole; at the same time, the parts should not be completely subordinate to the whole but should have their individual identities. The concept of ambiguity is effective in attaining this.
In the Yoshijim House, there are places other than the nakaoe analyzed here which permits an ambiguous reading. (The beam composition, for example, is not based on strictly rational structure; an equal weight is given to visual effect.) These produce a visual tension and the observer's eye is led from the parts to the whole; and the comprehension of the whole in turn leads to a better understanding of the parts. The Yoshijima House, appropriately enough for a house of a merchant, is characterized by moderation and honesty; the parts are put together intricately yet without waste, and the whole is various and rich.
(2) Up to now the most common method of describing style was to represent that style by a work of architecture which was considered to be a model example. This, however, consists simply of listing special formal characteristics and does not transcend the singularity of that work, nor does it explain the building's apparent flexibility. The description of a style must be a description of its determining structure. In the master's thesis on which this paper is based, I analyzed 40 houses of the same townhouse type as the Yoshijima House, but because the number of samples was inadequate and because the method was not sufficiently rigorous I shall not make this public here.
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